James v. UMG Recordings, Inc., No. 11-cv-01613-SI (MEJ), 2013 WL 5978322 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 8, 2013)

Key Insight: Where plaintiffs could surely foresee the need to manipulate royalty data but did not specify production in electronic form, and defendant had already twice produced the documents and argued that production of electronically formatted royalty statements would require creation of new documents not currently in existence, court denied plaintiffs’ motion to compel production of the data in electronic format, stating that plaintiffs’ proffered justification that Excel format would be more convenient “falls far short of the mark”; court further denied plaintiffs’ request for receipts data, finding that the burden of reprogramming royalty database and creating new software to extract information far outweighed usefulness of ordering production given that plaintiffs stated they could discern the data by extrapolation

Nature of Case: Consolidated putative class action for breach of contract and other claims filed by recording artists and producers who alleged that defendant underpaid royalties on digital downloads of plaintiffs’ recordings

Electronic Data Involved: Royalty statements in Excel format, receipts from download transactions with vendors

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