Archive: September 9, 2008

Defendant’s “Brazen Destruction of Evidence” Warrants Default Judgment

Defendant’s “Brazen Destruction of Evidence” Warrants Default Judgment

Atlantic Recording Corp. v. Howell, 2008 WL 4080008 (D. Ariz. Aug. 29, 2008)

In this copyright infringement litigation, seven major recording companies alleged that defendant Howell had used the KaZaA file-sharing program to download their sound recordings and distribute them to other users of the network.  Howell had previously resisted plaintiffs’ efforts to conduct a forensic examination of his computer hard drive, and the court had granted plaintiffs’ motion to compel and granted leave to take additional discovery.  With the benefit of this additional discovery, plaintiffs moved for terminating sanctions based on Howell’s willful spoliation of material evidence.

Based on the evidence presented, the court found that:

•  Defendant removed the KaZaA program from his computer and deleted the contents of the shared folder shortly after receiving notice of the lawsuit

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