Chief U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt ruled that Righthaven misled the court and doesn't have standing to sue on behalf of newspapers who claim their copyrights were infringed. Hunt threatened to impose sanctions against Righthaven.
Here's how Righthaven enforces copyrights. When a publisher feels its copyright has been infringed, usually by somebody on the internet, it sells the copyright of the story or photograph to Righthaven. Righthaven then sues the alleged infringer, seeking damages. Righthaven has filed 274 copyright lawsuits since March 2010.
In order to file lawsuits, copyright plaintiffs have to have actual control of the copyrights, not just the right to sue, Hunt found.
MediaNews Group's Denver Post and the Las Vegas
The Las Vegas Sun, in its news story about the ruling, said Hunt's ruling "could shut down Righthaven's lawsuit campaign."
<b>Correction: In the penultimate graf of the item above, the newspaper owned by Stephens Media was incorrectly identified as the Sun. It's actually the Review-Journal.</b>