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Judge Rules Documents Must be Filed Without Redaction

The judge in the Axanar copyright infringement lawsuit ruled January 18, 2017, against efforts by defense attorneys to have evidence hurtful to defendants Alec Peters and his Axanar Productions sealed from public view.

To Be Submitted Unredacted

Although the requests denied by federal Judge R. Gary Klausner were technically submitted by plaintiffs CBS and Paramount Pictures, the evidence to which they refer was marked by the defense as confidential.

Among the evidence ordered submitted without redaction were:1)

Christian Tregillis

Expert's Financial Report

A redacted version of a financial report by defense expert witness Christian Tregillis. Tregillis is a certified public accountant and avowed expert expected to offer an expert opinion on whether Axanar resulted in real damages to the studios’ copyrighted property.

His redacted report said he found indications that fan films generally benefit the studios’ franchises, and that Axanar specifically has benefited the plaintiffs, and that the defendants had earned no profits as any possible copyright infringement.

Tregillis’ report is based on the financial statements Axanar’s attorneys have tried to keep away from the jury.

Defense Redactions

A recent memorandum submitted to the court by the studios featured many redactions because of Axanar’s claim that information fell under a protective order governing discovery in the case.

That memo, now to be filed unredacted, summarized the plaintiffs’ arguments against Axanar, many of which dealt with Axanar’s finances, and business plan. Those have come under a cloud since the studios said records turned over by defendant Alec Peters showed lavish personal spending by Peters on himself, his girlfriend and other friends.

Alec Peters

Sweeping Order

In a sweeping decision, Klausner ordered a large number of partially redacted documents, like the memo above, to be filed with redactions removed. But he allowed attorneys to file under seal other documents that they had wanted completely redacted.

Affected Documents

Among the affected documents:

  • Excerpts from Peters' deposition transcripts, likely to be filed under seal.
  • Excerpts from the deposition transcript of CBS official John Van Citters), likely to be filed under seal.
  • The Axanar screenplay, version 7.7, likely to be filed under seal.
  • Axanar’s electronic press kit, a document already in the public domain, likely to be filed unredacted.

This was the latest in Klausner’s rulings on evidence, though his earlier decisions remain tentative.


Keywords

1)
Order re Application 143, Application 148 and Application 183, Docket 209, 1/18/17.