Internet Evidence — Search Engines — Search Results Require Authentication, Foundation and Hearsay Exceptions to Be Admissible — Wikipedia Inadmissible

Perry v. Lench Mob Records, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56581(E.D.N.C. April 23, 2014):

II. ENTERTAINMENT ONE'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

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The claim plaintiff asserts is not clear. He does not cite any statutory basis for relief. He does not allege or come forward with any evidence that he owns a copyright associated with any of the songs on the subject album or that he authored or produced any of those songs. He does not allege or come forward with any evidence of any agreement with any of the defendants. He does not suggest that defendants may have appropriated his likeness for their own advantage. With respect to any harm, he does not allege that he has suffered any sort of personal injury, such as reputational damage, emotional distress, or otherwise. He merely seems to contend that because he is identified as the composer/writer of several songs, he is entitled to be paid.

To support whatever claim he attempts to allege, plaintiff relies on computer screen printouts from Internet sources, namely, wikipedia.org, bing.com, google.com, dbpedia.org, ascap.com, yahoo.com, amazon.com, and itunes.apple.com. (See Mot., Attachs., DE # 14-2; Mot., Attachs., DE # 17-1; Resp., Attachs., DE # 45-1.) The court agrees with Entertainment One that these materials are not admissible in evidence, and therefore, the court need not consider them in ruling on the motion for summary judgment. See Crochet v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Civil Action No. 6:11-01404, 2012 WL 489204, at *4 (W.D. La. Feb. 13, 2012) (agreeing with the defendant's argument "that plaintiffs' 'evidence' consisting of Google and Yahoo searches is inauthentic, lacks foundation and constitutes inadmissible hearsay"); Straughter v. Raymond, No. CV 08-2170 CAS (CWx), 2011 WL 3651350, at *10 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 19, 2011) ("The Court finds that plaintiff may not rely upon Wikipedia and other unverified internet websites as admissible evidence of facts . . . ." (citing Crispin v. Christian Audigier, Inc., 717 F. Supp. 2d 965, 976 n.19 (C.D. Cal. 2010)).

Even if those materials were admissible, they do nothing to advance plaintiff's case.***

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