Righthaven Stories

Since March 2010, Righthaven has teamed with the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post to file a whopping 275 federal lawsuits alleging copyright infringement and seeking damages of $150,000 apiece.

These lawsuits are filed in retroactive fashion, meaning if someone posted a Review-Journal story without authorization in December, Righthaven spotted the infringement in January, obtained the copyright to the story in February and sued the unsuspecting defendant in March.

The suits say Righthaven has the right to collect damages for infringements, be they in the past, the present or the future. Internet sites, bloggers and message board posters throughout North America and in Europe are accused in the suits of posting, without authorization, on their websites partial or entire stories from those newspapers, as well as editorials, columns, graphics and photos.

Archive highlights

Righthaven: The controversy over copyrights

Mon, Jul 25, 2011

The time has come to add copyright lawsuits—alongside casinos—as one of the things Las Vegas is best known for nationally. Copyright lawsuits? Yes, in national legal and media circles, Las ...

Judge: Righthaven masquerading as a company

Thu, Jul 14, 2011

A judge today fined newspaper copyright lawsuit filer Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas $5,000 for misleading Nevada’s federal court about its lawsuits.

Righthaven hurts news industry, one ruling at a time

Sun, Jun 26, 2011

Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist and former Publisher Sherman Frederick’s column today involving his “little friend” Righthaven could be Exhibit A in the case against Righthaven’s litigation strategy.

Legal attack dog sicked on websites accused of violating R-J copyrights

Wed, Aug 4, 2010

When it comes to fighting copyright theft in the news industry — the piracy of stories, editorials, columns, photos and videos — there are watchdogs and there are attack dogs.

All stories

Appeals court rules that Righthaven lacked standing to sue over copyrights

Thu, May 9, 2013

A federal appeals court panel Thursday dismissed an action by a Las Vegas copyright company that sued two individuals for using newspaper articles on their websites.

Gibson remains CEO of Righthaven, appeals to continue

Wed, Oct 31, 2012

The Righthaven LLC copyright lawsuit saga will continue indefinitely after a judge on Wednesday blocked efforts to have Righthaven's CEO fired and its appeals canceled. Righthaven is known for filing ...

Righthaven agrees to turn hard drives over to creditor

Tue, Oct 16, 2012

Las Vegas copyright company Righthaven LLC appears eager to comply with the latest court order entered against it Tuesday, as noncompliance could cost its CEO a fine of $500 per ...

Fight for control of Righthaven to continue

Tue, Oct 9, 2012

The fight for control of Righthaven LLC will continue after a judge declined to immediately rule on the conflict. The Las Vegas company is known for suing over newspaper copyright ...

Missing Righthaven attorney surfaces, airs grievances about company

Wed, Oct 3, 2012

A Righthaven LLC copyright lawsuit attorney who has been missing in action for seven months resurfaced Wednesday and publicly aired his grievances about his experience with the company.

Judge revives action in forgotten Righthaven case

Wed, Sep 19, 2012

A federal judge is refusing to let Righthaven LLC off the hook, reviving action in one of its cases Tuesday after saying it "fell through the cracks."

Court tosses Righthaven fair use appeal

Wed, Aug 8, 2012

Las Vegas copyright lawsuit company Righthaven LLC suffered another setback Wednesday when an appeals court dismissed one of its appeals. The dismissal was requested by the nonprofit Center for Intercultural ...

Fight for control of Righthaven escalates

Thu, Jul 5, 2012

Who really controls Righthaven LLC and is Las Vegas attorney Steven Gibson still its CEO? Those are questions a federal appeals court may soon address after an attorney for the ...

Righthaven founder fights to stay on as CEO

Mon, Jul 2, 2012

Righthaven LLC founder Steven Gibson insisted Monday he remains in charge of the Las Vegas company and asked a judge to block efforts to fire him as CEO.

First Amendment attorney joins effort to shut down Righthaven

Fri, Jun 29, 2012

Las Vegas First Amendment attorney Allen Lichtenstein has joined the initiative to shut down copyright infringement lawsuit filer Righthaven LLC. Lichtenstein said he's signed on to represent the receiver who ...

Righthaven receiver moves to fire CEO Steven Gibson

Mon, Jun 25, 2012

The Righthaven LLC copyright infringement litigation took a bizarre turn Monday when Righthaven's court-appointed receiver moved to fire Righthaven CEO Steven Gibson.

Righthaven ordered to pay attorney's fees in another case

Thu, Jun 14, 2012

Righthaven LLC, the Las Vegas copyright infringement lawsuit filer, was ordered Thursday to pay $131,457 in attorney's fees to a defendant that prevailed against Righthaven in court.

Nonprofit: Lack of copyrights thwarts Righthaven appeal

Thu, Jun 7, 2012

An Oregon nonprofit group asked a court Thursday to dismiss one of the Righthaven LLC copyright lawsuit appeals, saying Righthaven can no longer participate in the case since it’s been ...

Righthaven dodges problems in two cases

Fri, May 25, 2012

Copyright infringement lawsuit filer Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas received breaks in two of its cases this week, though it still faces plenty of challenges down the road.

Foes urge court not to give Righthaven a break

Fri, May 18, 2012

Attorneys for one of the Righthaven copyright infringement lawsuit defendants are urging an appeals court not to give Righthaven a procedural break, saying it should face the consequences of its ...

Righthaven copyrights fail to sell at auction

Mon, May 7, 2012

Creditors of Las Vegas copyright lawsuit filer Righthaven LLC are licking their wounds after no one bid for Righthaven copyrights in an eBay auction that ended Saturday.

Prices slashed on Righthaven copyrights up for auction

Thu, May 3, 2012

Certain copyrights seized from Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas are being offered at auction for a minimum bid of $50 apiece — a 50 percent discount.

Scant interest so far in auction of Righthaven copyrights

Wed, May 2, 2012

With buyers not exactly beating down the door for Righthaven LLC’s trademark and certain copyrights, an auction for those items was extended Wednesday.

Righthaven copyright, trademark auction begins Monday

Sat, Apr 28, 2012

The second auction of Righthaven LLC assets, including its trademark and a copyright for a Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial, is scheduled to begin Monday morning on eBay.

Nonprofit seeks donations to cover Righthaven copyright lawsuit costs

Thu, Apr 26, 2012

A Virginia nonprofit is asking for donations to cover the $30,000 it spent successfully fighting a Righthaven LLC copyright infringement lawsuit. The Virginia Citizens Defense League Inc. (VCDL), a gun ...


Dead in the Water?
Dead in the Water?
A federal judge has called Righthaven's tactics in suing to protect online content not just ...

More Information

What is a copyright?

According to the US Copyright Office, copyright is a form of intellectual property law that protects original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic and musical works, and artistic works such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software and architecture. Such protection encourages creativity.

Under the fair use doctrine of the US copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work, including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, news reporting and scholarly reports. What is fair use is decided on a case-by-case basis, with judges often relying on evolving case law.

Righthaven’s numbers as of July 15

• Of Righthaven’s 276 lawsuits, all but one involved material from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post. One suit was filed over sports betting material that didn’t involve a newspaper.

• Righthaven’s lawsuits were filed in Las Vegas, Denver and Charleston, SC.

213 Righthaven lawsuits involve Las Vegas Review-Journal material. After settlements and dismissals, 79 were active.

62 involved Denver Post material and 34 were active.

What others are saying about Righthaven

"Plaintiff’s litigation strategy has a chilling effect on potential fair uses of Righthaven-owned articles, diminishes public access to the facts contained therein and does nothing to advance the Copyright Act’s purpose of promoting artistic creation.”— U.S. District Judge James Mahan in Las Vegas

"The purpose of the courts is to provide a forum for the orderly, just, and timely resolution of controversies and disputes. Plaintiff’s (Righthaven’s) wishes to the contrary, the courts are not merely tools for encouraging and exacting settlements from defendants cowed by the potential costs of litigation and liability.’’ — U.S. District Judge John Kane in Denver

"Righthaven and Stephens Media have attempted to create a cottage industry of filing copyright claims, making large claims for damages and then settling claims for pennies on the dollar, with defendants who do not want to incur the costs of defending the lawsuits, (and) are now offended when someone has turned the tables on them and insisting on a judgment in their favor rather than a simple dismissal of the lawsuit.” — U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt in Las Vegas

"I’m asking you nicely once again—don’t steal our content. Or, I promise you, you will meet my little friend called Righthaven.” — Sherman Frederick, at the time publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal

"Where the law has created a legal way to extort money from hapless netizens, Righthaven has stepped in for some quick cash. They’re not evil geniuses. They’re not right-wing extremists. They’re not left-wing zealots. The truth is much worse. They’re just jerks.” — Eric Johnson, associate professor of law at the University of North Dakota

"We were surprised to witness such behavior here, in the United States, while this is generally a phenomenon Reporters Without Borders witnesses in authoritarian regimes to silence netizens and intimidate journalists, bloggers and others. Therefore, we ask you to drop the lawsuit against him and find a reasonable compromise regarding his case.”— International press freedom group Reporters Without Borders, in a letter to the Denver Post regarding a Righthaven lawsuit against young autistic blogger Brian Hill and Righthaven’s $6,000 settlement demand along with its threat to garnish his Social Security Disability Insurance income at the rate of $50 per month for 10 years.