Eventbrite, Inc. v. M.R.G. Concerts Ltd. et al

Filing 34

ORDER DENYING ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO SEAL (Illston, Susan) (Filed on 10/16/2020)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 EVENTBRITE, INC., Plaintiff, 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 Case No. 20-cv-04040-SI ORDER DENYING ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO SEAL v. M.R.G. CONCERTS LTD., et al., Re: Dkt. No. 29 Defendants. 12 13 Plaintiff/counterclaim-defendant Eventbrite, Inc. has filed a motion to dismiss the 14 counterclaims and to strike the affirmative defenses of defendant/counterclaim-plaintiff M.R.G. 15 Concerts Ltd. Dkt. No. 30. In support of its motion to dismiss, Eventbrite has filed an administrative 16 motion to seal. Dkt. No. 29. Eventbrite seeks to seal Exhibits A and C to the declaration of Adam 17 Cashman as well as portions of the motion to dismiss that reference those exhibits. A hearing on 18 the motion to dismiss is set for November 13, 2020. 19 Having reviewed the papers filed, the Court DENIES the administrative motion to seal, 20 without prejudice, for several reasons. First, the motion to seal fails to comply with the Civil Local 21 Rules and with the undersigned’s Standing Order. For instance, the unredacted version of the 22 motion on file does not “indicate, by highlighting or other clear method, the portions of the 23 document that have been omitted from the redacted version[.]” See Civil L.R. 79-5(d)(1)(D). As 24 another example, the proposed order fails to conform to the required format. See Judge Illston’s 25 Standing Order ¶ 8. 26 Second, Eventbrite has not shown that the material sought to be sealed is sealable. “A 27 sealing order may issue only upon a request that establishes that the document, or portions thereof, 28 are privileged, protectable as a trade secret or otherwise entitled to protection under the law (hereinafter referred to as ‘sealable’).” Civil L.R. 79-5(b). “Reference to a stipulation or protective 2 order that allows a party to designate certain documents as confidential is not sufficient to establish 3 that a document, or portions thereof, are sealable.” Civil L.R. 79-5(d)(1)(A). The declaration filed 4 in support of the motion to seal asserts that the materials are sealable because: (1) the parties agreed 5 in writing that the information would be protected as confidential, (2) the parties separately advised 6 the Court that the information should be treated as confidential and reviewed only under seal, and 7 (3) according to Eventbrite, the information “is in any event confidential to Eventbrite. Public 8 disclosure of this confidential information would create a risk of economic or other harm, for 9 example, by enabling third parties, such as Eventbrite’s competitors and/or existing and future 10 clients and partners, to leverage such information and gain an unfair competitive, negotiating, or 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 1 other advantage over Eventbrite.” Dkt. No. 29-1, Tilley Decl. ¶ 2. None of these are legally 12 sufficient reasons to seal a court document from public view. See generally Civil L.R. 79-5(b), (d); 13 Judge Illston’s Standing Order ¶ 8. 14 Third, the motion to seal is not “narrowly tailored to seek sealing only of sealable material.” 15 See Civil L.R. 79-5(b). Eventbrite seeks to seal Exhibits A and C in their entirety. Exhibit A is the 16 services agreement between the parties, and Exhibit C is an addendum to the services agreement. 17 In other words, in this contract dispute, Eventbrite seeks to seal the entirety of the contract at issue. 18 Much of the text contains standard contract language, making it unclear to the Court what Eventbrite 19 asserts is truly protectable.1 20 The Court will give Eventbrite one opportunity to renew its motion to seal. If Eventbrite 21 wishes the Court to consider the redacted materials in conjunction with Eventbrite’s motion to 22 dismiss, Eventbrite shall file a renewed administrative motion to seal that complies in all respects 23 with Civil Local Rule 79-5 and with the undersigned’s Standing Order no later than October 23, 24 2020. If Eventbrite does not file a renewed motion to seal by that date, then Eventbrite shall file 25 26 27 28 1 The exhibits do contain highlighting, but this highlighting seems irrelevant to the motion to seal, given that Eventbrite seeks to seal the exhibits in whole. If Eventbrite chooses to refile its motion to seal in a more narrowly tailored format, it will need to find a way to distinguish between the highlighting already contained in Exhibits A and C and the highlighting required by Civil Local Rule 79-5 to make it clear to the Court which portions of the unredacted documents Eventbrite proposes to seal. 2 1 unredacted versions of the motion to dismiss and Exhibits A and C on the public docket. 2 3 4 5 6 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: October 16, 2020 ______________________________________ SUSAN ILLSTON United States District Judge 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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