The story of copyright troll Righthaven, who bought the right to sue from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and went around suing any website where even a snippet of a Review-Journal story appeared, just keeps getting better. Yesterday, they were ordered to pay $34,000 in court costs to a poster on a sports blog.
Righthaven sued one Wayne Hoehn, a longtime forum poster on the site Madjack Sports. Buried in Home>>Forums>>Other Stuff>>Politics and Religion, Hoehn made a post under the username “Dogs That Bark” in which he pasted in two op-ed pieces. One came from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which helped set up the Righthaven operation. Righthaven sued.
[…] Before it was all over, the judge decided that Righthaven had no standing even to bring the case, since only a copyright holder can file an infringement suit (Righthaven’s contract only gave it a bare right to sue… which is no right at all). Then the irritated judge decided that Hoehn’s cut-and-paste job was fair use, helping establish a precedent that could undercut the entire Righthaven approach.
I doubt that the judge’s ruling that copying an entire newspaper article is really fair use will stand up to an appeal, but it’s nice to see a troll getting what they so richly deserve.