Someone offered to download Lemony Snickets on eDonkey, and the activity was traced to the defendant. With the help of a computer forensic specialist, Paramount conducted an inspection of the defendant’s hard drive and discovered that he had wiped it clean two weeks after receiving notice of the suit. The defendant claimed that he wiped the hard drive clean because he had an agreement to sell someone else the computer, (which he was enjoined from doing due to the suit). The court was not willing to apply an adverse inference at the summary judgment stage. “Notwithstanding the spoliation inference, there remain genuine issues of material fact as to whether the motion picture and eDonkey network software were on Davis’ computer at the time of the alleged infringement and whether Davis intentionally wiped his computer hard drive clean to avoid Paramount discovering his infringing activities. Accordingly, there are three related genuine issues of material fact: whether Davis engaged in any infringing activity; whether he was a first propagator of the motion picture; and whether he was misidentified. My ruling here does not mean that Paramount will not have the benefit of the spoliation inference at trial. I will take Davis’ willful destruction of evidence into consideration at the time of trial.” See Paramount Pictures v. Davis, 234 F.R.D. 102 (E.D.Pa. 2005).
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