Save the troll!

Right, everybody, let’s have a whip-round. Righthaven, known for its spirited acts of self-defence when threatened by evil patent violators, says it may have to file for bankruptcy if its latest lawsuit is unsuccessful.

According to Vegas Inc, the company has petitioned a federal judge to stay an order that Righthaven should pay out $34,000 to cover the legal fees of message-board user Wayne Hoehn.

Righhaven’s also appealing the order in the 9th District US Circuit Court of Appeals.

Righthaven has deals with publishers under which it has the right to cue copyright infringers, without actually holding the copyright itself.

But Hoehn successfully defended himself against charges that he had wrongly posted an entire column from the Las Vegas Review-Journal on a betting website message-board.

Righthaven is alsp appealing the ruling itself, which declared that the company had never had the legal standing to sue Hoehn and that, even if it had, the posting was permissible under ‘fair use’ rules.

Righthaven hasn’t been doing brilliantly lately. Denver Post publisher mediaNews has said it won’t be renewing its contract with the company. Last week, according to reports, the company fired its lawyer and said it planned to stop filing new cases – well, it’s clearly kinda busy appealing the current batch.

This could be the final straw, it says.

“Permitting such judgment enforcement efforts to proceed during pendency of Righthaven’s appeal unquestionably exposes the company to the threat of irreparable harm,” says the company in its filing.

“Righthaven faces the very real threat of being forced out of business or being forced to seek protection through bankruptcy if the court does not stay the [attorney’s fee] judgment pending resolution of the company’s appeal to the 9th Circuit.”

Doesn’t your heart just bleed?