New Righthaven To Offer 'Hosting With A Backbone'; Will Avoid Unnecessary Takedowns

from the interesting-turn-of-events dept

Last week, some folks here pointed out that the new — bought during the asset auction of Righthaven’s domain for $3,300, as part of the effort to fulfill Righthaven’s obligation to pay legal fees for one of its (many) bogus lawsuits — had put up a page joining the anti-SOPA/PIPA protests. That certainly seemed encouraging, and suggested that (not all that surprisingly, really), the domain had been bought by someone who took a dim view on copyright maximalism.

I was going to write up something on that, but got busy with other, more timely, coverage on SOPA/PIPA. However, I’ve now gone back to the new Righthaven, and it appears that they’ve announced plans to become a hosting provider “with a backbone,” willing to withstand efforts to take down content on a questionable legal basis. In a bit of irony… they’ve hired Righthaven-slayer, Marc Randazza, to act as their lawyer.

Some reports have suggested that the new owner is a hosting company in Switzerland, called OrtCloud, which focuses on providing “privacy-friendly” hosting. The new basically has a manifesto, which is worth reading, first talking up the fact that anyone can publish online these days, and how important that is:

You are the most important part of the digital economy. Period.

You drive the discussion. You draw from the well of ideas, and refill it. You apply your particular character and unique vision to those ideas. You synthesize. But most importantly, you publish. That actually deserves its own line.

You publish.

But somewhere, sometime not too long ago, a large part of the global economy simply forgot about you and the importance of the simple act of clicking the “submit” button.

In retrospect this seems strange. By and large the big, flashy heroes of the digital age (and we love them, we really do) claimed their laurels for producing tools like operating systems, software, communications networks, and hardware for you. To make it easier for you to hit “submit.” To extend the range your content could travel after that mouse click.

And yet, to much of the economy today and certainly to most politicians, you have become little more than a means to an end.

That is a sad state of affairs.

As for what Righthaven will actually provide? They’ll be a hosting company that doesn’t fold like a cheap card-table, apparently: 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”TM but as nearly fanatical advocates for the freedom of expression we are pretty sure it is also “the right thing to do.”TM Then again, we are prone to agree with ourselves quite often.

And they’re teaming up with upstream partners who have a similar outlook:

Recent events and the pavlovian salivating of certain legislators upon hearing the fundraising dinner bell ringing from the Beverly Hills Hotel have certainly reminded us that the internet naming system is a serious choke point for any online enterprise. In selecting our partners we wanted to make sure we teamed up with a domain registrar and DNS host who had a history of treating third party requests skeptically, but respectfully. We wanted a partner who wouldn’t dissolve into incontinent fits and roll over on getting a call from United States Senator Joseph Lieberman’s office intern, for instance. We found that partner in Toronto based easyDNS. easyDNS has been providing clueful and spineful DNS and registry services since 1998. Their four-continent anycast DNS cluster fits the bill. Plus, easyDNS’ founder, Mark Jeftovic, is the essence of a spineful owner.

Seems like an excellent use of the domain…

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Companies: ortcloud, righthaven

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Comments on “New Righthaven To Offer 'Hosting With A Backbone'; Will Avoid Unnecessary Takedowns”

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It’s a nice 360 to take. Not that their mission statement endorses piracy, it doesn’t, it endorses not rolling over at the slightest sign of complaint from someone with a Hollywood address and law firm’s name.

If they hold true to this then I wish them well. And may even look into moving a domain I have over to them in time.

Good for them!


ACTA says:

To protect electronic rights management information,16 each Party shall provide
adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies against any person knowingly
performing without authority any of the following acts knowing, or with respect to civil
remedies, having reasonable grounds to know, that it will induce, enable, facilitate, or
conceal an infringement of any copyright or related rights:

(a) to remove or alter any electronic rights management information;
(b) to distribute, import for distribution, broadcast, communicate, or make
available to the public copies of works, performances, or phonograms,
knowing that electronic rights management information has been
removed or altered without authority

My question is : Is wikipedia in danger because of this article? or is this article only attacking sites dedicated to infringing IP??


Re: Re:

each Party shall provide adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies against any person knowingly performing without authority any of the following acts knowing, or with respect to civil remedies, having reasonable grounds to know, that it will induce, enable, facilitate, or conceal an infringement of any copyright or related rights

Defense lawyers will have a field day if this is the guiding document. I know this is a treaty (er, executive agreement) and not a law, but if it were a law, it would be void for vagueness before the toner cooled down.


Great idea and I wish them the best for their endeavor..

However, I can’t help but think using any US services (like a Toronto DNS provider or even a .COM address) is a bad decision given the current situations in the US.. Any business links, no matter how tenuous open them up to anything the corrupt Justice Department want to throw at them…

Ed C.says:

Re: Not going to end well...

As much as I’d hate to admit it, ICE will probably have the service nuked before it launches. Big media will just “know” that it’s dedicated to infringement…before it even host a single byte. (They hate to admit it, their CEOs and lawyers are clairvoyant. Just never mind the fact their track record is even worse than groundhogs.)


Re: Re: Re: Re:

This may be what they are talking about:

“First, the SOPA provisions are designed to have an extra-territorial effect that manifests itself particularly strongly in Canada. As I discussed in a column last year, SOPA treats all dot-com, dot-net, and dot-org domain as domestic domain names for U.S. law purposes. Moreover, it defines “domestic Internet protocol addresses” – the numeric strings that constitute the actual address of a website or Internet connection – as “an Internet Protocol address for which the corresponding Internet Protocol allocation entity is located within a judicial district of the United States.” Yet IP addresses are allocated by regional organizations, not national ones. The allocation entity located in the U.S. is called ARIN, the American Registry for Internet Numbers. Its territory includes the U.S., Canada, and 20 Caribbean nations. This bill treats all IP addresses in this region as domestic for U.S. law purposes. To put this is context, every Canadian Internet provider relies on ARIN for its block of IP addresses. In fact, ARIN even allocates the block of IP addresses used by federal and provincial governments. The U.S. bill would treat them all as domestic for U.S. law purposes.”


  1. Site owners claim they’ll actually demand their legal rights instead of just crumbling instantly when Big Media snaps its fingers.
  3. ICE kicks down doors, arrests people, confiscates equipment, and brushes off any complaints. (They may or may not acquire warrants, depending on how much time and effort it’d take them to find a judge dumb enough to buy it.)
  4. Techdirt article calling out ICE for being Hollywood’s attack dogs.

Re: Re:



* Apply some Hollywood math.
* Learn about the exclamation point key. Use it. More == better.

Try this:


How’s that? Twenty billion jobs is a significant dent in US employment.


Seriously … is ANYONE going to trust any company named “Righthaven”?

Yes, I know. New owners but the name itself is certainly going to raise now only “eyebrows” but a certain level of distrust – at least until they’ve proven themselves.

I’ll reserve my thoughts until they’ve got a little more time under their belt, I think.

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