Righthaven CEO insists he has right to hire more lawyers, wants to appeal lost case
July 3, 2012 | 8:02 pm
I’m glad I paid extra for the upgrade to unlimited free popcorn refills. Techdirt and Ars Technica are reporting on the continuing saga of Righthaven’s “Schroedinger’s CEO” Steve Gibson and his attempt to hire more lawyers to continue litigating one of the cases the copyright troll infamously lost.
The Techdirt piece largely covers Gibson’s tortured arguments that the court-appointed receiver, Lara Pearson, lacks the authority to fire him. The reasoning seems to boil down to a bunch of legalese about the nature of limited liability companies. Gibson insists he does have the right to hire additional lawyers to argue an appeal, and feels that Pearson is not planning to put full effort into that appeal.
The Ars Technica piece goes into more detail about the case in question, and Gibson’s desire to argue the appeal. He feels that Righthaven’s arguments would prevail in an appeals court, reversing the damage of the initial judgments against it. He also claims that the lawyers are being paid for out of non-Righthaven-related assets.
I actually would like to see the issue Righthaven was arguing get appealed, and even go all the way up to the Supreme Court if possible—since the particular case is the one that would set a strong precedent expanding fair use, allowing the reposting of an entire article for nonprofit purposes. The higher a court reaffirms the decision, the broader precedent it will set.
Even if it doesn’t get that far, I think the whole Righthaven mess has nonetheless strengthened fair use overall, if only by making sure as many people rush to the opposite side of the bus from the copyright troll as possible. Nobody else wants to risk looking quite that ridiculous.