Alex Goldman is a producer for On the Media. One time he got run over by a car.
The Rebirth of Righthaven
Friday, January 27, 2012 - 02:20 PM
On the Media has reported plenty on both our show and our blog about Righthaven, a company that buys copyrights on newspaper stories and images and then sues bloggers who repost them either in part or in full. They've had an incredible run of bad luck in the last six months, culminating in their assets being seized in order to pay off court debts, and an investigation by the Nevada State Bar. One of those seized assets was their website, righthaven.com, which was sold to a mystery bidder earlier this month for a paltry $3,300. The bidder is now a mystery no more.
Righthaven.com was sold to a Switzerland-based web hosting company, who relaunched the website as a web hosting service. Their promise to their customers? They won't submit to laws around the world like SOPA and PIPA that would require ISPs to take down, delete, or otherwise remove content from their clients' websites.
"Righthaven.com will provide shared and dedicated server hosting services to clients who expect just a little more backbone from their provider," reads a letter posted on the landing page of righthaven.com. "Well, actually a lot more backbone." Boingboing's Rob Beschizza reported that the new Righthaven is planning on offering what's called "infrajuridsictional infrastructure," meaning it would host websites in several countries, requiring a coordinated international legal effort to bring websites down.
And, in a final touch of what I can only imagine is deliberate irony, the new Righthaven have partnered with The Randazza Legal Group, a lawfirm that defended a blogger named Wayne Hoehn, and is responsible for the judgment that originally led to the seizure of the old Righthaven's assets.
Righthaven.com responds to this post, saying:
Our "Spineful Hosting" concept is not at all about about defying or refusing to "submit to" those laws on the books that cover the protection of intellectual property. It is entirely about restoring the balance between content creators who publish material that constitutes "fair-use" and habitual litigants who use the complexities of fair-use and the oppressive fee structures of many jurisdictions to censor that material.