Righthaven Domain Buyers Launch Web Hosting Service

By Liam Eagle

According to a notice posted at Righthaven.com, the former domain of the notorious copyright troll Righthaven, a Swiss company that acquired the domain at auction intends to launch a “spineful hosting” business using the domain, designed to protect publishers from the sort of litigation pursued by the previous company.

The domain was acquired at auction for $3,300, though at the name of the acquiring company was unknown. According to a Monday post on tech and culture blog Boing Boing, the acquiring company was Ort Cloud, based in Zurich.

In a lengthy notice now currently posted at the domain, the author (who simply signed the document Righthaven.com), says “Righthaven.com will provide shared and dedicated server hosting services to clients who expect just a little more backbone from their provider. Well, actually a lot more backbone. We call it ‘spineful hosting’ and not only do we think it is a ‘great idea’ but as nearly fanatical advocates for the freedom of expression we are pretty sure it is also ‘the right thing to do.’”

Referencing the recent SOPA and PIPA blackout movement, the letter also lauds content publishers as the unsung heroes of the Internet’s development.

Righthaven, in its former incarnation, was a company built on the premise of acquiring the “right to sue” from IP holders, and prosecute bloggers who posted articles or snippets of articles from newspapers without permission. The domain was sold to help pay legal fees the company was ordered to pay in one such case it lost.

The defending lawyer in that case, and vocal opponent of Righthaven, was Marc Rendazza, who, along with another US attorney, Kenneth White, has partnered with the new Righthaven (the web host) to help protect copyright holders from litigation, according to the letter on the site.

Along with the US lawyers, the company has partnered with Toronto-based DNS and registry company EasyDNS, another “spineful” company, says Righthaven. EasyDNS was one of the service providers where WikiLeaks was able to find some purchase during its late-2010 struggles.

EasyDNS CEO Mark Jeftovic spoke to the Web Host Industry Review at the time.

Along with including links to a very long FAQ and a blog aimed at identifying “crystal jellyfish” (Go Daddy senior counsel Christine Jones is apparently a nominee, for the company’s since-withdrawn support for SOPA), the letter invites readers to submit suggestions for the company’s operations.


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