Alexander v. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. et al
ORDER: The motions to seal (Docs. 147 , 150 , 169 , and 208 ) are DENIED. The parties are DIRECTED to refile Docs. 165 and 168 and all attachments/exhibits not under seal within 7 days from entry of this Order. The Clerk's Office is DIRECTED to unseal Docs. 140 , 148 and 151 . The Clerk's Office is further DIRECTED to STRIKE Docs. 165 and 168. Signed by Judge Staci M. Yandle on 9/8/2020. (mah)
Case 3:18-cv-00966-SMY Document 213 Filed 09/08/20 Page 1 of 3 Page ID #3377
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
SOFTWARE, INC. 2K GAMES, INC.,
2K SPORTS INC., WORLD
WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT, INC., )
ENTERTAINMENT, YUKE'S CO., LTD, )
YUKES LA INC.,
Case No. 18-cv-966-SMY
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
YANDLE, District Judge:
Plaintiff Catherine Alexander filed this action against Defendants Take-Two Interactive
Software, Inc., 2K Games, Inc., 2K Sports Inc., World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., and Visual
Concepts Entertainment asserting copyright infringement pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 501. Now
pending before the Court are Defendants’ motion to seal (Doc. 147) and Plaintiff’s motions to seal
(Docs. 150, 169, 208). Both parties seek to seal documents utilized in support of or in opposition
to pending motions for summary judgment and motions to exclude expert testimony. They assert
the documents contain highly confidential and/or confidential information as designated by the
parties and/or defined in the Stipulated Protective Order.
The Seventh Circuit has articulated a rigorous standard for demonstrating good cause to
seal documents. While “[s]ecrecy is fine at the discovery stage, before the materials enter the
judicial record,” “those documents, usually a small subset of all discovery, that influence or
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Case 3:18-cv-00966-SMY Document 213 Filed 09/08/20 Page 2 of 3 Page ID #3378
underpin the judicial decision are open to public inspection unless they meet the definition of trade
secrets or other categories of bona fide long-term confidentiality.” Baxter Int'l., Inc. v. Abbott
Labs., 297 F.3d 544, 545 (7th Cir. 2002). “Documents that affect the disposition of federal
litigation are presumptively open to public view, even if the litigants strongly prefer secrecy, unless
a statute, rule, or privilege justifies confidentiality.” In re Specht, 622 F.3d 697, 701 (7th Cir.
2010). Thus, sealing documents is not justified simply by an agreement between the parties to
keep matters private.
Defendants move to seal the following documents:
The expert reports of J. Malackowski
Excerpts from the deposition of Mark Little, one of Defendants’ 30(b)(6) witnesses
Terms of License Agreement between WWE and Take-Two Interactive Software,
Amendment Number One to License Agreement between WWE and Take-Two
Interactive Software, Inc.
Excerpts from the deposition of Ryan Clark
The expert report of Ryan Clark
The supplemental report of Jose Zagal
Plaintiff moves to seal the following documents:
Portions of Plaintiff’s Memorandum in opposition to Defendants’ Motion for
Excerpts from the deposition of Mark Little
Portions of Plaintiff’s Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to
Exclude the testimony of Ryan Clark
The deposition of Ryan Clark
The rebuttal report of Ryan Clark
WWE 2K franchise sales since April 2015
The deposition of Defendant WWE’s corporate representative
Clearly, the aforementioned documents and portions of pleadings will influence or
underpin the Court’s decisions on the pending dispositive motions and motions to exclude. It will
be necessary for the Court to consider the experts’ reports and deposition testimony in determining
whether their opinions satisfy Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579
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(1993). Similarly, the Court will consider documents submitted in support or opposition to the
pending dispositive motions. The documents are therefore open to public inspection absent a
statute, rule, or privilege justifying confidentiality. The parties have provided the Court no reason
to seal the requested documents other than their discovery protective order. But that is a legally
insufficient basis according to Seventh Circuit precedent.
Accordingly, the motions to seal (Docs. 147, 150, 169, and 208) are DENIED. The parties
are DIRECTED to refile Docs. 165 and 168 and all attachments/exhibits not under seal within 7
days from entry of this Order. The Clerk’s Office is DIRECTED to unseal Docs. 140, 148 and
151. The Clerk’s Office is further DIRECTED to STRIKE Docs. 165 and 168.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: September 8, 2020
STACI M. YANDLE
United States District Judge
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