A federal judge ordered Mississippi AG Hood to produce documents in Google case that’s been ongoing since last fall. Judge Henry Wingate ruled in favor of Google’s motion for a TRO in March and again last week in a different matter. The most recent ruling requires Hood to turn over to Google draft subpoenas given to Hood by various third parties Google identified (including the Motion Picture Association of America), several MS Word files and emails and a letter Hood sent to AGs in all states in August 2014 setting up a working group to take down Google.
Hood’s deadline for document production was today, despite having filed a stay of discovery pending appeal motion. No word yet on whether Hood met the deadline.
The original complaint was Google’s December 2014 suit against Hood in response to his 79-page subpoena in which he asserted that the Internet giant was helping criminals via its search engine and auto-complete function. The AG also dislikes Google sharing YouTube ad revenue. Google’s understandable position is that it cannot be held responsible for third-party content (such as pirated movie sites) and that Hood is working with Hollywood to get better piracy protection via the courts than the law currently provides.
Even Judge Wingate smells something rotten. In his full written order on March 27 regarding the TRO, Wingate took Hood to task saying that Hood cannot “wage an unduly burdensome fishing expedition into Google’s operations.”
Hood was threatening to enforce subpoenas against Google, as well as bringing civil or criminal charges under Mississippi state law. No trial date has been set.
AG Hood’s job must be terribly boring (or the Hollywood kickbacks incredibly enticing) for him to spend so much time, effort and taxpayer money on this issue.