Just Like Battlestar Galactica

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We need to be watching rulings like this one explained by Michael Kwun.

Fans of the Sci Fi channel’s “reimagined” version of Battlestar Galactica (BSG) all know that the only reason the human warship Galactica survived the initial attack by the Cylons was that it was an old ship using old technology. The Cylon attack crippled the modern systems of the rest of the colonial fleet, leaving them helpless. Galactica survived, and has defended the few humans who survived the Cylon attack ever since. (Good thing, too, because otherwise there wouldn’t be much of a television show.)

Curiously, a California federal court’s order from 2007 has threatened to make new technology a liability in discovery proceedings in litigation, much the way new technology doomed so much of the human fleet on BSG. In the movie studios’ lawsuit against TorrentSpy, a magistrate judge (and later a district court judge) ordered TorrentSpy to start logging, retaining, and giving to the movie studios the IP addresses of TorrentSpy users—information that TorrentSpy had previously held only temporarily in RAM. The order was based on 2006 amendments to the federal rules of civil procedure that talk about how parties should exchange “electronically stored information” during discovery in court cases. The judge and magistrate judge both concluded—erroneously—that data in RAM is “electronically stored information” that is potentially subject to discovery.

There are a lot of things happening in cyberspace regarding intellectual property and how you, as a journalist, a blogger or embarking in an online business, need to know what is going on.

Think about it. TorrentSpy may have to give over ISP addresses which is in direct violation of their own privacy policy, as Kwun puts it.

This is a bigger deal than you might initially think.

Image Credit from the SciFi Channel

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