Sunday, May 04, 2008

Magistrate orders expense depositions to go forward, orders defendant's expert to be deposed in NY, in UMG v. Lindor

In UMG v. Lindor, the Magistrate Judge has resolved some of the minor discovery issues that were recently raised in a series of letters, as follows:

-on the issue of expenses-per-download, defendant's lawyer must work with the digital copies of SONY BMG's royalty statements;
-also on the issue of expenses-per-download, plaintiffs are to be deposed by telephone by May 31st;
-the defendant's expert, Prof. Johan Pouwelse, will be deposed in the US at a mutually convenient time between June 15th and July 31st;
-the expert discovery deadline is extended to July 31st for all purposes; and
-the fact discovery deadline is extended sine die for the MediaSentry deposition.

May 2, 2008, Order resolving discovery issues*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Keywords: digital copyright law online internet law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs intellectual property


Anonymous said...

Sine die: a Latin term meaning “without day”; where a court proceeding is adjourned “sine die” there is no specific date set for when the proceeding will be back before the court; often used in civil proceedings where the court grants an adjournment “sine die” and it is the responsibility of the parties to bring the matter back to court at a date and time that is agreeable to the parties;


Anonymous said...

Well this seems as unfair and one-sided as everything else this judge has decided so far.

Plaintiffs are allowed to be deposed by telephone.

Defense expert has to travel to the United States, and specifically to New York City, at great expense to be deposed.

Plaintiff attorney's promises to provide paper copies mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

And the question remains: Just why is this judge/magistrate judge combination being allowed to decide ALL THE RIAA CASES in this district?

Two men's opinions have become the Rule of Law for every RIAA copyright case here. Some appeals court should be overturning these decisions on that basis alone.


raybeckerman said...

Comment rejected for violation of Rule 7.

Alter_Fritz said...

I swear it wasn't me this time! :-)

I made my peace with them already! :;-)

Anonymous said...

DM: You're not up on the background.
- If there's no reason for an in-person deposition, none is needed.
- Regarding the defense expert, he will be in the United States anyway, and the judge has extended the deposition date to sometime in July (the plaintiffs were pushing for sometime in June). Of course the cost issue is a curious one, but at least we aren't talking about international airfare anymore.
- The defense was concerned about digital documents because (a) the documents shouldn't be thousands of pages in length, and (b) if anyone leaked the documents, the defense would be seen as the likely source and thus unprofessional. Now that the judge has ordered digital copies to be accepted, the defense is on better footing in the unlikely event that those documents were leaked.
- The judge ruled in the defense's favor on taking depositions from the plaintiffs, rejecting the plaintiff's claim about mythical email agreements otherwise.

All in all, this ruling is not a disaster.

raybeckerman said...

The rejected comment was NOT from alter_fritz.

Rick Boatright said...

Let's tick these off a little more clearly.

1) MediaSentry Depositions: No decision, so y'all wait till the judge decides someday, and he's not saying when.

2) Pouwelse -- will be in the US this summer, depose him then in the US, the judge didn't say where in the US, and that lets the "large quantities" of exhibits to not have to be shipped or faxed. -- and since he's going to be in the US anyway this summer, it reduces everyones costs, and oh yeah, on the matter of costs, argue that AFTER the deposition so we know what the costs involved _are_. -- makes sense and in no way anti-Lindor, Other than the costs thing, it's what Ray _ASKED FOR_.

3) Use the electronic records regarding expense per download. Ray's concern, and it seems just, is that if this stuff leaks, he'll be blamed, but the decision is now out of his hands, the judge has TOLD him to use the CD, so he can proceed to do so, and if the stuff leaks, he's in a somewhat better position 'cause he can say "Look, I _told_ you an electronic copy is risking leaks, we didn't leak it, here's what we did to ensure we didn't leak it." -- again, not a loss.

4) Telephone depositions of people with knowledge of the "expense per download issue" -- Ray ASKED to be allowed to depose these folks over the phone, the RIAA said "no, and you agreed not to in your emails" -- the judge said "oh to hell with it, I'm not parsing all that email, discovery is reasonable under the federal rules, just do it." -- Win for Ray.

and finally 5) -- push all the deadlines back until after you deal with Poulwelse....

all makes perfect sense and seems reasonable to me.