Court rules content of RAM memory is discoverable

In what some are calling a "rogue" decision, the Los Angeles District Court ruled on May 29, 2007, in Columbia Pictures Industries v. Bunnell, that data stored in a computer's Random Access Memory --that's correct you read it right, in its RAM -- is discoverable. I've written about e-discovery and the revised Federal Rules for Civil Procedure (FRCP) that went into effect on December 1, 2007, but this case surpri

In what some are calling a "rogue" decision, the Los Angeles District Court ruled on May 29, 2007, in Columbia Pictures Industries v. Bunnell, that data stored in a computer's Random Access Memory --that's correct you read it right, in its RAM -- is discoverable.

I've written about e-discovery and the revised Federal Rules for Civil Procedure (FRCP) that went into effect on December 1, 2007, but this case surprised just about everyone.

Columbia v. Bunnel is a copyright infringement case against TorrentSpy, described by some as a "media search-engine" Web site, described by others as a porn site. Whatever, that is not the issue here.

According to the blog posted by Ralph Losey, an attorney at the firm of Akerman Senterfitt, if the ruling is upheld by higher courts, it could require companies to archive and produce terabytes of data that would normally be expunged almost on a daily basis from a computer's RAM.

Up until now, the most stringent requirements, from the SEC, require financial services companies to make discoverable within 48 hours any relevant electronic messaging documents, in any format, going back three years.

As the blog points out, this ruling would require "a party to create computer records where none before existed."

I have no idea how a company can store content from RAM unless it is dumped either on the hard drive or put onto Flash. Imagine storing terabytes of data on pricey Flash?

TorrentSpy will obviously appeal this ruling. I'll track it and let you know what happens.