By Andrew Goldberg
Could it be the beginning of the end for Righthaven?
The Las Vegas-based copyright holding company, which has endured a string of legal setbacks in the last couple of months, suffered another one last week when a federal judge in Colorado halted all the copyright infringement suits brought by Righthaven in the state pending a review of whether the company has the legal standing to sue over an airport security pat-down photo originally published in the Denver Post.
"Because there are serious questions as to whether my exercise of subject matter jurisdiction over Righthaven's claim of copyright infringement is proper, I think it most prudent to stay the proceedings in all pending cases in this District in which Righthaven is the named Plaintiff," wrote Judge John Kane in an order issued last Thursday. "Should I find that I lack subject matter jurisdiction over Righthaven's claim of copyright infringement, it is likely that I will be required to dismiss all pending actions." [ Download Righthaven - Judge Kane Order]
The stay issued by the court in Colorado follows a decision last month by a federal judge in Nevada to unseal the licensing agreement Righthaven signed with its other newspaper partner, the Stephens Media-owned Las Vegas Review-Journal. That agreement, which was unsealed at the request of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, revealed that Righthaven had been granted the right to bring infringement actions but had not actually been granted full copyrights in the articles over which it was suing.