Records Saturday showed Righthaven has been sued by its own process server and also faces a request by defense attorneys that it be found in contempt of court.
Righthaven is the copyright enforcement partner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and formerly of the Denver Post.
Righthaven is half owned by the family of billionaire Arkansas investment banker Warren Stephens, who owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal through his Stephens Media LLC company.
Stephens made headlines this week when his majority-owned Halifax Media Holdings LLC agreed to buy 16 newspapers around the country from the New York Times Co. for about $143 million.
While Stephens continues to invest in the newspaper industry, his family’s half-owned Righthaven copyright protection company has been floundering.
After filing 275 no-warning lawsuits since March 2010 alleging online copyright infringements of material from the Review-Journal and the Post, which provided copyrights to Righthaven for lawsuit purposes, Righthaven has suffered a series of defeats in court.
Judges found Righthaven lacked standing to sue as the newspapers maintained control of the material at issue, or the defendants were protected by fair use, or both.
These losses have prompted judges to order Righthaven to pay $216,355 in prevailing defendants’ legal fees.
Righthaven can’t – or won’t – pay the fees. It’s appealing the legal setbacks as well as the fee awards.