The Electronic Frontier Foundation has plans to file an amicus brief
for TorrentSpy as it defends itself against copyright violation charges filed by the Motion Picture Association of America, reports CNET News.com
The case is notable because TorrentSpy had attempted to guard against lawsuits by simply not logging any user information. But the judge in the case found that logs are stored temporarily in RAM and ordered TorrentSpy to start creating logs of its users' activities to hand over to the MPAA in its discovery. (Under the liberal rules of discovery, parties must provide each other with all information reasonably likely to lead to admissible evidence; the information need not be admissible itself, so long as it is relevant.)
EFF's Fred von Lohmann has notified TorrentSpy it will file an amicus brief and is looking for others to join it.
"This is the first time the court has found that information found only in RAM is subject to preservation," von Lohmann said. "Companies may be obliged to begin logging and producing information about conversations that occur on digital phones, which are stored on RAM. Nobody is asked to preserve records for analog phone conversations."
In general, a defendant is not required to create new records to hand over in discovery," von Lohmann said. "We shouldn't let Web site logging policies be set by litigation."
Lawyers from the Motion Picture Assoc. of America argue that the law has always found RAM to be electronically stored information and that there won't be any significant impact to others besides those engaged in illegal file sharing.