Thursday, June 14, 2007

2007-06-14 Battering RAM Discovery: Excerpts from the Brunelli ruling follow.

Based on the court's consideration of the extensive arguments and evidence presented, the court's assessment of the credibility of the declarants and witnesses who testified at the evidentiary hearing in this matter, and the applicable law, the court finds: (1) the data in issue is extremely relevant and within the scope of information sought by plaintiffs' discovery requests; (2) the data in issue which was formerly temporarily stored in defendants' website's random access memory ("RAM") constituted "electronically stored information" and was within the possession, custody and control of defendants; (3) the data in issue which is currently routed to a third party entity under contract to defendants and received in said entity's RAM, constitutes electronically stored information," and is within defendants' possession, custody or control by virtue of defendants' ability to manipulate at will how the data in issue is routed; (4) defendants have failed to demonstrate that the preservation and production of such data is unduly burdensome, or that the other reasons they articulate justify the ongoing failure to preserve and produce such data; (5) defendants must preserve the pertinent data within their possession, custody or control and produce any data in such a manner which masks the Internet Protocol addresses ("IP addresses") of the computers used by those accessing defendants' website;(6) sanctions against defendants for spoliation of evidence are not appropriate in light of the lack of precedent for requiring the retention of data in RAM, the lack of a preservation request specifically directed to data present only in RAM, and the fact that defendants' failure to retain such data did not violate any preservation order; and (7) awarding attorneys' fees and costs are not appropriate.

Well, at least defendant wasn't hit with attorneys fees and costs. Time to amend those requests for production...That way, you might have a chance obtaining an order finding spoliation, with a sanctions garnish...
2007-06-14 Battering Ram - New Discovery Tool Unleashed

In this unsealed order from Columbia Pictures, et al. v. Brunelli, cv-06-1093 (CD Cal) [the Torrentspy copyright case], the federal magistrate ruled that information contained in a server's RAM constitute discoverable documents, and has ordered its production. Looks like a wire-tap, smells like a wire tap... That issue aside, this gives new meaning to the concept of a "continuing obligation" to produce.

cNEt calls this a "weapon of mass discovery." It certainly is, Ollie. More details soon.