Columbia v Bunnell

Memorandum of points & authorities in support of defendants' objections to & motion for review of order re server log data

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On June 22, 2007, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) urged a California court to overturn a dangerous ruling that would require an Internet search engine to create and store logs of its users' activities as part of electronic discovery obligations in a civil lawsuit.

The ruling came in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by motion picture studios against TorrentSpy, a popular search engine that indexes materials made publicly available via the Bit Torrent file sharing protocol. TorrentSpy has never logged its visitors' Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Notwithstanding this explicit privacy policy, a federal magistrate judge has now ordered TorrentSpy to activate logging and turn the logged data over to the studios.

This decision could reach every function carried out by a digital device. Every keystroke at a computer keyboard, for example, is temporarily held in RAM, even if it is immediately deleted and never saved. Similarly, digital telephone systems make recordings of every conversation, moment by moment, in RAM.

The decision also threatens to radically increase the burdens that companies face in federal lawsuits, potentially forcing them to create and store an avalanche of data, including computer server logs, digital telephone conversations, and drafts of documents never saved or sent.

The magistrate judge in the case has stayed her order while TorrentSpy appeals the ruling. The case is Columbia Pictures Industries v. Bunnell, No. 06-01093 FMC, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California before Judge Florence-Marie Cooper.

This is defendant's memorandum of points & authorities in support of defendant's objections to and motion for review of order re: server log data.

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Reference Info:Legal Memoranda: Discovery Motions | Federal, 9th Circuit, California | United States


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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