Spyin’ on your Torrents in RAM

The MPAA’s suit against TorrentSpy is taking an interesting curve into e-discovery. Gigalaw pointed to CNET’s story today on how the MPAA is requesting data that resides in the RAM of TorrentSpy’s servers.

Every Web server can log user activity, but that feature is commonly turned off. Fortunately the judge stated that her ruling should not be read to require all litigants to preserve information temporarily stored in RAM. TorrentSpy is appealing.

Update June 13, 2007

Law.com (via The Recorder) runs a story entitled “RAM Ruling Portends a New E-Discovery Brawl” that expounds a little more on the legal implications of the TorrentSpy case. Mind you, TorrentSpy does not directly offer the videos and downloads on their site, they simply operate as a search engine for the torrent files that will then allow you to download the allegedly infringing files. So in a way, we’re back to some Napster arguments.

The MPAA is quotes as saying that

“the [RAM] data would show the number of requests for torrent files corresponding to the studios’ works, and the dates and times of such requests which demonstrates exactly how TorrentSpy is used to facilitate massive copyright infringement.”

Fortunately, the judge has ordered that the RAM data be encrypted so that customers’ names would not be revealed.