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Dismissal of Righthaven's Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Wayne Hoehn

Dismissal of Righthaven's Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Wayne Hoehn

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Court Order Dismissing Lawsuit filed by Righthaven in Righthaven LLC v. Wayne Hoehn, Case No. 11-cv-00050 (D. Nev.) based on lack of standing and fair use
Court Order Dismissing Lawsuit filed by Righthaven in Righthaven LLC v. Wayne Hoehn, Case No. 11-cv-00050 (D. Nev.) based on lack of standing and fair use

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Published by: www.righthavenlawsuits.com on Jun 21, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/21/2011

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 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTDISTRICT OF NEVADA* * *RIGHTHAVEN, LLC,Plaintiff,v.WAYNE HOEHN,Defendant. ))))))))))))2:11-CV-00050-PMP-RJJO R D E R Presently before the Court is Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of SubjectMatter Jurisdiction (Doc. #16), filed on April 17, 2011. Plaintiff filed a Response (Doc.#23), on May 9, 2011. Defendant filed a Reply (Doc. #26), on May 15, 2011. Also beforethe Court is Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. #8), filed on February 11,2011. Plaintiff filed a Response (Doc. #13), on March 7, 2011. Defendant filed a Reply(Doc. #14), on March 24, 2011. This Court held a hearing on the Motion for SummaryJudgment on May 3, 2011. (Mins. of Proceedings (Doc. #19).)
I. BACKGROUND
This is a copyright infringement action brought by Plaintiff Righthaven LLC(“Righthaven”) against Defendant Wayne Hoehn (“Hoehn”), who is and was at all relevanttimes a registered user and content contributor to the website <madjacksports.com> (the“Website”). (Pl.’s Resp. To Mot. For Summ. J. [“Resp.”] (Doc. #13).) Hoehn has never  been employed by the Website’s owner and operator. (Id.) On or about November 29,2010, Hoehn displayed an unauthorized reproduction of a copyrighted literary work entitled
Case 2:11-cv-00050-PMP -RJJ Document 28 Filed 06/20/11 Page 1 of 17
 
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“Public Employee Pensions. We Can’t Afford Them” (the “Work”) as part of the contentcontributed by him to the Website. (Id.) In his reproduction, Hoehn attributed the source of the Work to the Las Vegas Review Journal (“LVRJ”). (Compl. (Doc. #1).) Hoehn aversthat he did not post the Work for profit and that there was no mechanism for him to profit by posting the Work on the website. (Def.’s Mot. For Summ. J. [“MSJ”] (Doc. #8), HoehnDecl., Ex. A.) Hoehn states he removed the Work from the Website on January 6, 2011.(Id.)At the time of the posting, Righthaven was not the owner of the Work, rather theWork was owned by Stephens Media. (Gibson Decl. (Doc. #24), Ex 1.) In January 2010,Righthaven and Stephens Media entered into the Strategic Alliance Agreement (the“SAA”), governing the ongoing relationship between Righthaven and Stephens Mediaregarding assignment of copyrights originally owned by Stephens Media. (Gibson Decl.)Section 3.3 of the SAA governs the rights and responsibilities of Righthaven and StephensMedia with respect to pursuing alleged infringers and states in part:If Righthaven chooses in the Remediation Option Notice to not pursuean Infringement Action (the “Remediation Declination”), thenRighthaven shall reassign the Assigned Copyright to Stephens Mediathat is the subject of the Remediation Declination . . . . Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, StephensMedia shall have the right to Notify Righthaven, within five (5)Business Days after receipt of a respective Remediation Option Notice,that Righthaven should not take any Infringement Action with respectto a particular putative infringer as indicated in any RemediationOption Notice (the “Declination Notice”) and upon receipt of aDeclination Notice, Righthaven shall not take any Infringement Actionwith respect to the particular putative infringer set forth in anyDeclination Notice; provided, however, that Stephens Media shall onlysend any Declination Notice on a reasonable basis with the grounds of reasonability being that a particular infringer is a charitableorganization, is likely without financial resources, is affiliated withStephens Media directly or indirectly, is a present or likely futurevalued business relationship of Stephens Media or otherwise would bea Person that, if the subject of an Infringement Action, would result inan adverse result to Stephens Media.(Gibson Decl., Ex. 2.)
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Section 7.2 of the SAA states in part:Despite any such Copyright Assignment, Stephens Media Shall retain(and is hereby granted by Righthaven) an exclusive license to Exploitthe Stephens Media Assigned Copyrights for any lawful purposewhatsoever and Righthaven shall have no right or license to Exploit or  participate in the receipt of royalties from the Exploitation of theStephens Media Assigned Copyrights other than the right to proceedsin association with a Recovery. To the extent that Righthaven’smaintenance of rights to pursue infringers of the Stephens MediaAssigned Copyrights in any manner would be deemed to diminishStephens Media’s right to Exploit the Stephens Media AssignedCopyrights, Righthaven hereby grants an exclusive license to StephensMedia to the greatest extent permitted by law so that Stephens Mediashall have unfettered and exclusive ability to Exploit the StephensMedia Assigned Copyrights.(Id.)Section 8 of the SAA is titled “Stephens Media’s Right of Reversion.” Section 8states in part:Stephens Media shall have the right at any time to terminate, in goodfaith, any Copyright Assignment (the “Assignment Termination”) andenjoy a right of complete reversion to the ownership of any copyrightthat is subject of a Copyright Assignment. . . . In order to effecttermination of the [sic] any Copyright Assignment, Stephens Mediashall be required to provided Righthaven with thirty (30) days prior written notice. Within thirty (30) days after receipt of termination of the [sic] any Copyright Assignment, Righthaven shall commencedocumentation to effect reassignment of the Stephens Media AssignedCopyrights to Stephens Media.(Id.)On December 6, 2010, Stephens Media, the original owner of the Work, assignedall rights, title, and interest in and to the Work, including the right to seek redress for all past, present, and future infringements, to Plaintiff Righthaven (the “Assignment”).(Gibson Decl.) The Assignment states in part:Assignor hereby transfers, vests and assigns the work described in Exhibit A,attached hereto and incorporated herein by this reference (the “Work”), toRighthaven, subject to the Assignor’s rights of reversion, all copyrights requisiteto have Righthaven recognized as the copyright owner of the Work for purposesof Righthaven being able to claim ownership as well as the right to seek redress
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Case 2:11-cv-00050-PMP -RJJ Document 28 Filed 06/20/11 Page 3 of 17

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