Archive: February 5, 2009

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Rejecting Arguments Regarding “Transitory Nature” of Data and Server Limitations, Court Finds Defendants Failed to Preserve Evidence in Bad Faith, Orders Adverse Inference and other Sanctions

Rejecting Arguments Regarding “Transitory Nature” of Data and Server Limitations, Court Finds Defendants Failed to Preserve Evidence in Bad Faith, Orders Adverse Inference and other Sanctions

Arista Records, LLC v. Usenet.com Inc., 2009 WL 185992 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 26, 2009)

Upon finding that defendants acted in bad faith to deliberately destroy relevant evidence despite a duty to preserve, the court imposed severe sanctions.

Defendant Usenet.com, operated by defendant Gerald Reynolds, is a commercial Usenet provider.  Usenet is a “network of loosely connected computer servers that share message traffic for discussions.”  Users are able to upload content to the system and download content from other users’ postings. Postings to Usenet are known as “articles.”  “Articles” are organized into “newsgroups” – including Music Groups.  In this case, “Plaintiffs contend that Defendants provided their subscribers access to hundreds of music piracy newsgroups containing vast amounts of infringing digital music files copyrighted by Plaintiffs.”

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