A criminal justice blog that provides resources for difficult-to-prosecute murder cases is fighting bogus infringement claims from copyright troll Righthaven LLC.
In June 2011, a federal judge in Las Vegas dismissed Righthaven's lawsuit. Righthaven appealed, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal heard oral argument on February 5, 2013.
EFF, Colleen Bal and Bart Volkmer from the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and attorney Chad Bowers are represented DiBiase, an attorney who consults with law enforcement across the country on "no body" cases -- where the victim is missing and presumed dead, but no body has been found. DiBiase runs a website at www.nobodycases.com to gather information on these complex investigations in order to help other prosecutors as well as family and friends of "no body" murder victims.
Righthaven has brought hundreds of lawsuits in federal court claiming copyright infringement, even though it does not create, produce or distribute any content. Instead, Righthaven creates lawsuits by scouring the Internet for content from Las Vegas Review-Journal stories posted on blogs and online forums, claiming to acquire the copyright to those particular stories from Stephens Media LLC (the Review-Journal's publisher), and then suing the posters for infringement. DiBiase was sued by Righthaven for copyright infringement of a Review-Journal news story about a "no body" case, with Righthaven demanding control of the No Body Murder Cases website as well as $75,000 in damages.
The federal court determined that Righthaven did not own the copyright. In Righthaven v. Democractic Underground, Stephens Media, the original owner of the article, disclosed the Strategic Alliance Agreement ("SAA") it had entered into with Righthaven, which governs assignments from Stephens Media to Righthaven and the relationship between them the Court found that the SAA prevented subsequent assignments from transferring the exclusive rights necessary to maintain standing in a copyright infringement action.
In an earlier decision, the Court found that Righthaven was not entitled to seize DiBiase's domain name.