Darn, I’m out of popcorn again.
After Righthaven missed its deadline for paying $34,000 in legal bills, the legal team expecting the payment has filed legal papers asking the court to authorize U.S. Marshals to seize Righthaven’s assets unless it posts a bond for the $34,000, another $14,000 in bills that piled up due to the delay, and the $100,000 charges it expects to run up during the appeal process.
Righthaven wants a stay on the payment until after the appeal has been heard, warning that if the opposing team gets its dirty hands on proprietary “copyright infringement search engine software” Righthaven has developed, it might sell it to infringers who could reverse-engineer it to figure out how to defeat it. (That’s really kind of rich given that most or all of the infringers Righthaven has targeted didn’t have any thought of intentionally infringing, but were just reposting articles they thought were neat.)
Meanwhile, Todd Kincannon, a lawyer signing up clients for an anti-Righthaven class action suit has said that even if Righthaven files bankruptcy, he plans to go after the parent companies and clients who commissioned the lawsuits.
“I always knew Righthaven would file bankruptcy if things got rough,” Kincannon told me by e-mail. “They were set up as a limited liability company just so they could do that. Fortunately, Stephens Media, MediaNews Group, Sherman Frederick, Steve Gibson, and Dickinson Wright all seem to have plenty of money.”
Mike Masnick of Techdirt wonders if this strategy will really fly—the whole point of limited liability corporations is that they limit liability, after all. Not being a lawyer, I haven’t the foggiest idea. But either way, it promises to provide months of quality schadenfreude of a kind not seen since the whole SCO Linux debacle.