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Righthaven Fails to Pay Judgment: Could It Be Bankrupt?

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on September 28, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Is copyright troll Righthaven bankrupt?

That seems to be the million dollar question after the company recently failed to pay $48,000 in court-ordered legal fees and interest to Wayne Hoehn, one of the few to successfully defend himself against claims of copyright infringement.

Over the weekend, Hoehn filed papers asking the judge to grant him permission to seize Righthaven's "bank accounts, real and personal property, and intangible intellectual property rights."

Wayne Hoehn was awarded fees in June after a federal judge in Nevada found that Righthaven, possessing only a severed right of enforcement, did not have sufficient control over the copyright to support standing to sue.

Hoehn's posting of the copyrighted material was also found to fall under fair use.

With the mid-September deadline looming, Wired reports that Righthaven filed papers with the court earlier this month requesting that the judgment be stayed, claiming that payment would end in bankruptcy and the end of its business.

Despite no decision from the judge or filing for bankruptcy, Righthaven failed to pay any part of the judgment on Sept. 15. This led Hoehn to file a motion for writ of execution.

Ironically, if granted, Hoehn may become the owner of the dubious intellectual property rights on which Righthaven's lawsuits are premised.

And if such an outcome doesn't bankrupt Righthaven, the end of its relationship with MediaNews will. One of its only two clients--and the nation's second-largest newspaper publisher--the company is dropping Righthaven at the end of the month, according to Wired.

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