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Judge strips 'copyright troll' of disputed copyrights

Judge strips 'copyright troll' of disputed copyrights

Notorious "copyright troll" Righthaven has been hit with another in what has been lengthening string of legal defeats as a federal judge on Monday ordered that all intellectual property related to the company's failed copyright lawsuit against blogger Wayne Hoehn be taken away from it and assigned to a receiver.

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According to a court order, Righthaven's refusal to pay the $34,000 in legal fees awarded to Hoehn in the wake of case's dismissal in June 2011 - and its subsequent failure to post a bond for the amount during an appeal of that decision - prompted Judge Philip Pro to order the company's assets sold to pay for those costs.

Even the court-appointed receiver, however, was unable to convince Righthaven to transfer its intellectual property for auction. The judge also noted that the firm didn't appear at a January debtor examination, nor did it participate in a hearing on the matter last week.

"In light of Righthaven's lack of participation in these proceedings, and Hoehn's entitlement to relief ... this Court concludes it is appropriate to transfer such rights as Righthaven may still hold in Righthaven's intellectual property to the Receiver," Judge Pro wrote.

A ruling issued last week in a similar case represents another defeat for Righthaven as a federal court upheld the fair use defense employed by web forum Democratic Underground. Righthaven and its client, Stephens Media, had argued that a member's posting of a five-sentence excerpt of an article from the Stephens-owned Las Vegas Review-Journal constituted copyright violation.

Email Jon Gold at and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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