Righthaven LLC v. Hoehn

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

01/11/2011

Status: 

Pending

Location: 

Nevada

Disposition: 

Dismissed (total)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Righthaven LLC, a Las Vegas company associated with Las Vegas Review-Journal owner Stephens Media LLC, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Wayne Hoehn.  Righthaven alleged that Hoehn copied an article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal without permission and posted it... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Wayne Hoehn

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • Nevada

Location of Party: 

  • Kentucky

Legal Counsel: 

Marc Randazza, James M DeVoy of Randazza Legal Group
Description

Righthaven LLC, a Las Vegas company associated with Las Vegas Review-Journal owner Stephens Media LLC, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Wayne Hoehn.  Righthaven alleged that Hoehn copied an article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal without permission and posted it to the forums of the website Madjack Sports.

In his answer, Hoehn argued that his use of the article was protected as fair use, and that the court lacked jurisdiction over the case, as Hoehn is a Kentucky resident, the website in question is hosted in California, and his comments concerned matters in California and Illinois. 

Hoehn filed a motion for summary judgment on February 2, 2011, arguing that his copying of the article was for a transformative purpose and educational use.  As such, Hoehn wrote, his copying is protected as fair use and as Righthaven failed to show otherwise, he is entitled to summary judgment.  In its response, Righthaven argued that there are too many genuine issues of fact regarding Hoehn's copying to warrant summary judgment, and that Hoehn's copying was not fair use.

Update:

3/24/2011 - Hoehn filed a response to Righthaven's opposition to his motion for summary judgment, arguing that the court has all the facts it needs to rule on summary judgment.  Hoehn's substantive argument relies heavily on U.S. District Judge James Mahan's March 18 decision to dismiss another Righthaven lawsuit, Righthaven LLC v. Center for Intercultural Organizing, on fair use grounds.  In that case, the defendant copied an entire article for educational purposes.  Hoehn argued that the facts of his case are analogous, and therefore deserving of the same fair use protection.

4/17/2011 - Hoehn filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, based on the recently-unsealed agreement that purported to assign Stephens Media's copyright in various content to Righthaven.  Hoehn argued that the agreement, which was unsealed by the court hearing Righthaven LLC v. Democratic Underground LLC, shows that Righthaven lacks the standing to sue because Righthaven was not the exclusive holder of any rights in the copyrighted material at issue in the lawsuit.  Under Silvers v. Sony Pictures Entm’t, Inc., 402 F.3d 881 (9th Cir. 2005), a plaintiff must be the exclusive holder in a copyright to sue.  Under the unsealed agreement, Stephens Media retained exclusive rights in the works, thereby preventing Righthaven from being able to sue on the copyright.

6/20/2011 - Court granted Defendant's Motions to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction and for Summary Judgement. 

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Forum

Subject Area: 

  • Copyright
  • Fair Use
Court Information & Documents
CMLP Information (Private)

Priority: 

2-Normal

CMLP Notes: 

More docs from Randazza - AAB 3/24/11

More docs from Jay - AAB 4/18/11