Pecover et al v. Electronic Arts Inc.

Filing 430


Download PDF
1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 5 6 GEOFFREY PECOVER; and ANDREW OWENS, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 ORDER GRANTING IN PART, AND DEFERRING IN PART, PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION TO SEAL (Docket No. 424) Plaintiffs, 7 8 No. C 08-2820 CW v. ELECTRONIC ARTS, INC., a Delaware Corporation, Defendant. ________________________________/ On January 3, 2013, Plaintiffs moved, pursuant to Civil Local 13 Rule 79-5, to seal Exhibit B to the Scarlett Declaration and 14 Exhibits A through F to the Paynter Declaration submitted in 15 support of their motion for final approval of the class action 16 settlement in this case. 17 that Defendant Electronic Arts, Inc. has designated certain 18 information contained in these exhibits as confidential. 19 Defendant timely filed the declaration of Jacob Schatz in support 20 of the motion to seal. 21 Docket No. 424. Plaintiffs represented Docket No. 428 (Schatz Decl.). Because Defendant designated the documents at issue as 22 confidential, it must file a declaration establishing that the 23 documents are sealable. 24 “must overcome a strong presumption of access by showing that 25 ‘compelling reasons supported by specific factual findings . . . 26 outweigh the general history of access and the public policies 27 favoring disclosure.’” 28 665, 679 (9th Cir. 2010) (citation omitted). Civil Local Rule 79-5(d). To do so, it Pintos v. Pac. Creditors Ass’n, 605 F.3d This cannot be 1 established simply by showing that the document is subject to a 2 protective order or by stating in general terms that the material 3 is considered to be confidential, but rather must be supported by 4 a sworn declaration demonstrating with particularity the need to 5 file each document under seal. Civil Local Rule 79-5(a). 6 Exhibit B to the Scarlett Declaration contains a license 7 agreement entered into between Defendant and NFL Properties LLC in 8 2010. 9 many others it enters into, that is subject to periodic re-bidding Defendant explains that this is a short-term license, like United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 and renegotiation, and that public disclosure of the information 11 contained therein would cause it harm by providing its licensors a 12 commercial advantage over it in future negotiations and by giving 13 its competitors, other potential licensees, information that they 14 could use to negotiate for better license terms or additional 15 license rights. 16 Defendant has provided compelling reasons that support the sealing 17 of Exhibit B to the Scarlett Declaration. 18 Schatz Decl. ¶ 6. Thus, the Court finds that However, Defendant’s request to seal the entirety of Exhibits 19 A through F to the Paynter Declaration is overly broad and not 20 narrowly tailored to seek only the sealing of sealable material. 21 Defendant has also not established compelling reasons that 22 outweigh the public’s interest in access to the documents, which 23 is particularly strong in light of the pending motion for final 24 approval of a class action settlement. 25 of expert reports originally filed by Plaintiffs in connection 26 with their motion for class certification. 27 are Plaintiffs’ merits expert reports. 28 Exhibits A and B “have already been sealed by this Court” and that 2 Exhibits A and B consists Exhibits C through F Defendant represents that 1 Exhibits C through F contain “trade secrets and other highly 2 confidential material that is indistinguishable from, and in many 3 cases identical to, the highly confidential information contained 4 in Plaintiffs’ class certification reports.” 5 Schatz Decl. ¶ 5. However, the Court did not previously grant permission to 6 file the entirety of Exhibits A and B under seal. 7 Court granted permission to seal only portions of these documents 8 under seal. 9 Mason Declarations). Instead, the See Docket No. 198, 60, 67 (addressing the MacKieIndeed, the majority of these documents were United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 filed in the public record. 11 236-1. 12 F contain, for example, “the financial metrics of EA’s licensing 13 agreements, forward-looking business strategies, confidential 14 negotiations and negotiation tactics, and confidential research 15 and development activities,” it does not identify which portions 16 of these documents contains such information nor does it explain 17 what compelling reasons might support restriction of public 18 access. 19 are “confidential” are insufficient. 20 that portions of Exhibits C through F are not sealable. 21 example, Exhibit C contains, among other things, the resume of 22 Plaintiffs’ expert and a list of publicly available websites that 23 he reviewed in preparing his opinions. See, e.g., Docket Nos. 78-1, 231-1, Further, although Defendant states that Exhibits C through General averments that the activities or tactics at issue In addition, it is clear For 24 Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, the Court 25 GRANTS in part and DEFERS in part Plaintiffs’ motion to file under 26 seal (Docket No. 424). 27 within four days of the date of this Order, Plaintiffs shall In accordance with General Order 62, 28 3 1 electronically file Exhibit B to the Scarlett Declaration under 2 seal. 3 Within three days of the date of this Order, Defendant shall 4 lodge with the Court a version of A through F to the Paynter 5 Declaration, in which it has clearly identified the sealable 6 portions of the documents with notations or highlighting in the 7 text. 8 sworn declaration in support of the motion to seal, setting forth 9 in a table similar to the below example, the reason or reasons By that date, Defendant shall also file a supplemental United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 that each identified portion of the documents is sealable: 11 Document Portion 12 Paynter Declaration None 13 Exhibit A All 14 Exhibit A 1:18-2:5 15 Exhibit B 1-2 16 Exhibit B Reason that it is sealable 3-10 17 At that time, Defendant also shall submit the supplemental 18 declaration in a word processing format to the Court’s proposed 19 order email box, 20 Defendant’s failure to comply with the terms of this Order 21 will result in denial of the remainder of the motion to seal and 22 these documents being made part of the public record. 23 IT IS SO ORDERED. 24 25 26 Dated: 1/16/2013 CLAUDIA WILKEN United States District Judge 27 28 4

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?