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October 22, 2014

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Roundup: Developments in Righthaven copyright suits

Las Vegas copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC is promoting itself with a newly-active website, righthaven.com. On its website, Righthaven calls itself "the nation's pre-eminent copyright enforcer." Competitors like Attributor Corp. and the US Copyright Group may beg to differ ...

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Has Righthaven been so busy filing and settling lawsuits that it forgot to renew its state business license?

Its status with the Nevada Secretary of State as of Monday was listed as "default" after the license expired Jan. 31. Net Sortie Systems LLC, Las Vegas attorney Steven Gibson's company that co-owns Righthaven, is also listed as in default.

Gibson's partner in Righthaven is SI Content Monitor LLC of Little Rock, Ark., which is in good standing with the Arkansas Secretary of State.

SI Content Monitor is part of investment banking billionaire Warren Stephens' group of companies. The Stephens family also owns a chain of newspapers including the Las Vegas Review-Journal -- one of Righthaven's copyright enforcement partners.

Righthaven also works with the Denver Post.

Righthaven's "default" status will likely interest defendants in nine Righthaven lawsuits filed in Denver federal court this month over a Denver Post "TSA pat-down photo."

That's because Righthaven asserts in these lawsuits: "Righthaven is, and has been at all times relevant to this lawsuit, in good standing with the Nevada Secretary of State."

A message for comment on Righthaven's incorporation status was left with Gibson.

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A website critical of Righthaven, American Justice Dot Org, is urging webmasters to search the U.S. Copyright Office website to find copyrights Righthaven has obtained registrations for.

That way webmasters may avoid lawsuits by removing any Righthaven-owned content.

This may be of only limited benefit to webmasters, bloggers and content posters since Righthaven often sues over material it has obtained -- but has not yet received copyright registrations for.

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A search of the federal copyright database yields a couple of interesting registrations for Righthaven.

These are for porn movies "Ebony Amateurs Vegas Edition #10" and "Ebony Princess #3."

Records indicate Righthaven obtained the rights to these DVDs from U.V.C. Inc. of Van Nuys, Calif. U.V.C. does business as Heatwave Video.

Righthaven through late last week hadn't filed any federal copyright infringement lawsuits over these DVDs.

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Righthaven, in the meantime, has been busy settling lawsuits under undisclosed terms.

The latest Righthaven lawsuits to be settled or otherwise closed involved these defendants: Fred Bouzek and Biker News, Larry Scott, Ralph Roberts Realty, Internet Brands, MedicCom BBS, Automotive.com, RateMyCop.com, The Ad Network Inc. and Scott Arpajian.

Also, Nicole Hociung, Trauma Intervention Program of Southern Nevada, Don W. Joe, the Second Amendment Foundation, Bert L. Howe & Associates Inc. and James Howe, Independent Political Report, EMP Media Inc., Barry Shermer and Don T. Bradshaw; Industrial Wind Action Corp., Vegas Marketing Group and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.

Also, Charles W. Johnson and Rad Geek Enterprises; Shaker Advertising Agency, Fan Sites Network, D. Scott Davis Jr., Jeff Buckner, MajorWager.com, AR15.com, Americans for Immigration Reform and Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee.

Also, Americans Against Food Taxes, National Wind Watch, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Connected Nation, DDS Enterprises, ThreeAll Inc., Fred Pruitt and Billy Bob Wells.

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