Grooveshark is now substantially reducing its subpoena demands against Digital Music News, based on financial issues and intensifying litigation pressures. In the latest court hearing Tuesday, Grooveshark attorney John Rosenberg of Rosenberg & Giger told LA Superior Court judge Richard Stone that the subpoena exercise was becoming "enormously expensive" for the company, the latest of several, vitriolic complaints across earlier conference calls and hearings. "My client is a startup as well," Rosenberg said. "Its resources are tight and it is under attack."
Which means that Grooveshark was more than happy to force Digital Music News through hoops, as long as the damage and expense was our problem. Initially, Grooveshark attorneys insisted on the ability to search every nook and cranny of Digital Music News' distributed server cluster, and convinced judge Stone to authorize both data preservation and eventual inspection. That included servers that contained vast numbers of unused, unallocated data blocks, with the idea that somehow, identifying information from an anonymous comment posted in October was recoverable.
But that ruling, issued May 15th, created a number of immediate operational limitations and hazards for Digital Music News. Simply stated, it's hard to do business when you can't use your stuff. The reason is that freezing large blocks of data effectively freezes a number of active projects, simply because routine activity often overwrites earlier, unused and unallocated blocks and would violate the court's ruling.
Initially, that created an immediate emergency related to simple nightly backups, though the broader problem involved a complete inability to update software packages, tweak existing services, meet project deadlines, expand offerings, and confidently enter into partnerships with other companies. Indeed, an ongoing project related to archived stories was severely altered by the preservation demand, though the very pressing issue of site backups was resolved at Grooveshark's expense.
The disruptive issues were well articulated by our lead litigator, the very tenacious Public Citizen attorney Paul Alan Levy. And, as the process wore on, Judge Stone showed an increasing concern for this business disruption, especially since Digital Music News is an uninvolved, innocent third party to a much bigger lawsuit – despite what Grooveshark alleges. Ultimately, Stone asked Grooveshark to make a choice: foot the bill for equipment that would effectively allow Digital Music News to resume its status quo business operations, or put the subpoena in jeopardy. Under a reasonable proposal, we capped those expenses at $15,000, all in, and Stone essentially asked Grooveshark whether its subpoena demands were worth that relatively modest amount.
That answer was no, which is why Grooveshark has now opted to preserve the far less complicated virtual machine images, saved on May 15th. Those subsets are smaller and more neatly contained, and can be ported to a separate, single server, quarantined for later inspection if it gets to that.
Now, the question is if – and if so, when - it gets to actual inspection. Levy is now navigating the steps towards an appeal, and we'll have more updates ahead.
crazy money Tuesday, July 03, 2012
So, Grooveshark can't afford $15,000 but they can afford expensive lawyers? America looks like a very funny place to me. You should learn to laugh more, Paul. Laugh more. It doesn't cost anything and your doctor will thank you for it.
@GainsvilleInc Thursday, July 05, 2012
"So, Grooveshark can't afford $15,000 but they can afford expensive lawyers?"
Bald Headed John Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Ha Ha!! They fold on a 15k raise. Good call DMN
Treading Water Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Im quite disenchanted with your foolish behaviour.
You are blinded by the simple truth.
All Grooveshark needs are the screenshots. To add 15k would be redundant and a waste.
The law is against you and whomever you are protecting.
@mattadownes Wednesday, July 04, 2012
They want to know who the commenter was/is. I do not believe a screenshot would be admissible evidence because of its reliability.
Visitor Thursday, July 05, 2012
Um, actually the law literally just sided with DMN. I mean in court, and everything. So you're wrong. Irrefutably.
A jerk Tuesday, July 03, 2012
The reason we are here is that Grooveshark litigants cited DMN posts as fucking "evidence". If you are looking for B.S., that is ground zero.
Superanos Saturday, July 07, 2012
It's actually the record companies that claim that the comment is evidence against Grooveshark. That's why this whole thing is going on.
Steve Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Actually, they cited comments, not posts...but hey, facts haven't really been that important around here anyway.
Hawthornez Thursday, July 05, 2012
That lawyer was probably getting a few thousand just arguing against the $15,000!
Oab9 Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Well, that's why he got fired!
breaking news alert! Thursday, July 05, 2012
..And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming!
Brian Thursday, July 05, 2012
I assume an internet company employee has above average knowledge of computer/internet tech matters. And it is not very common for a computer savvy person to become a whistleblower using his home ip address.
One more proof that Grooveshark wants revenge from DMN. They know it is not likely to find out who made that comment. Thy just want to force DMN to lose money on legal expenses. Now that the court tells them to pick up the cost for backups, they have second thoughts. They were never intersted in them. Why spend $15,000 to end up with a proxy ip address? It makes no sense. And they know it.
In fact, Paul, you might want to check this article's logs and see what your statistics/analytics software is feeding you about the comments.
Anything from Florida?
Esq. Friday, July 06, 2012
Just following on the sidelines, and a litigator involved in a few subpoena issues over the years. Pretty surprised these attorneys didn't prepare for the obvious steps, or prepare their clients, especially entering into a high profile well-watched subpoena involving probably a pretty major server system and journalistic publication on top of that.
It's not all about billable hours guys, there are other expenses. Right off the bat you can see this was getting a ton of attention and almost all situations require outlays of capital to (a) protect the third-party subpoena recipient as noted by the judge (b) handle all third-party forensic examinations that Grooveshark has to pay for (c) handle any resistance as there was plenty.
But Grooveshark couldn't afford $15,000? Smelling a big, revenge rat like the other commenters.
The law isn't a weapon, no matter how bad the client wants revenge. That's a misuse of the court system. Lot of ethics issues here to consider.
mr4tay Friday, July 06, 2012
Visitor Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Spending $15k to hold the physical servers is silly when the incident was 7+ months ago as there is very little gaurantee that they have more data than the virtual backups contain.
dhenn Friday, July 06, 2012
That's great news! Congrats Paul!
@lacupulamusic Friday, July 06, 2012
Sobrevivirá Grooveshark los ataques de los mayors?
R.P. Tuesday, July 10, 2012
parece que no.
really? Thursday, July 12, 2012
Are you not going to cover Grooveshark's court victory? Biased much?
Cephalapod Saturday, July 14, 2012
hardly a victory
HHH Saturday, July 14, 2012
I predict Grooveshark employees getting laid off, which might already be happening from what I hear. Falling like the hairs of the 45 year old man.
THen, you'll see that anonymous sources hath no fury.