Apparently hewing to the old adage that the best defense is a good offense, Righthaven is vigorously arguing in support of a motion it has filed seeking leave to amend the complaint in one of the many copyright infringement suits it has pending before the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. Righthaven LLC v. Pahrump Life et al.
Taking up the cudgel on behalf of Pahrump are the Democratic Underground LLC and the Citizens Against Litigation Abuse, Inc., both of which have filed a combined amici curiae brief in opposition to the motion.
Righthaven has responded that this brief is “troubling in … its tone,” and that its “unbridled accusations, such a ‘fraud upon the Court,’ have no place in zealous, but tempered, advocacy.” Righthaven dismissed the brief as merely “an exercise in loud table pounding – all they have accomplished is making a lot of noise.”
What is all of this about? Well, seemingly Righthaven has taken to heart the finding of the Court that the Strategic Alliance Agreement, newly and reluctantly entered into evidence, does not convey to Righthaven the necessary standing to sue for copyright infringement. Simply stated, the Court held that Righthaven doesn’t own the copyright in question and, therefore, can’t sue for its infringement.
Seeking to remedy this little shortcoming, Righthaven and Stephens Media (the original copyright claimant) have executed a new agreement, creatively entitled “Restated and Amended Strategic Alliance Agreement.” They want the case to go forward, with the new and improved agreement replacing the old and discredited one. Pahrump’s new-found friends, obviously, object to this on a variety of legal grounds.
As we have previously noted (see our blog entry A Step Too Far), the real issue here is the potential claims, by the many Righthaven defendants – or, depending on your viewpoint, victims – for attorney’s fees. Personally, we think Righthaven is only digging itself a deeper hole with its continued enforcement efforts and aggressive stance.
I agree. Righthaven screwed up, and therefore it's time they tried to make nice, instead of getting ever more aggressive -- but that is a common mistake, and one for which they'll most likely pay dearly.