Professor Ellis Horowitz
 Computer Science Consulting Inc.

Below are some short descriptions of several major cases I have worked on in the recent past



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Major Cases

  • Yahoo vs. Google- Yahoo (through Overture) is the owner of patent 6,269,361 which defines the current model of pay-per-click advertising, whereby advertisers bid on keywords and their ads are shown according to the amount they are willing to bid. I provided a tutorial to the U.S. Federal Court, Northern District of California, on search engines. I was deposed and testified at trial in a related case.
  • Peer-to-Peer File Sharing - I represented the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) in several suits against the leading P2P file sharing software companies, Kazaa, Morpheus, and Grokster. I provided technical assistance and was deposed. After several appeals in May 2005 the suit was upheld by the Supreme Court. More recently I worked on a patent infringement case where Kazaa accussed the RIAA of infringing their patents 5,978,791, 6,415,280, and 6,928,442. I prepared an invalidity report and a rebuttal to their expert's infringement report.
  • the LimeWire Case - Starting in 2007 I acted as a technology expert for the RIAA against LimeWire. I submitted an expert report detailing the functioning of the Gnutella peer-to-peer system and the LimeWire program. I was deposed and filed several supporting declarations and/or rebuttals. As a result of a summary judgement ruling, LimeWire was found guilty of copyright infringement. I also testified at trial in U.S. Federal Court, Southern District of N.Y. in the penalty phase. During the trial a settlement was reached with LimeWire agreeing to pay the RIAA $105 million.
  • Copyright infringement and the AFC test. This case involved an accusation of copyright infringement. I represented the plaintiff, whose C++ source code had been sold to a large California insurance company. The source code had been converted to Java. My task was to determine if the Java version was actually derived from the C++ version, or an entirely new application. I provided a report, was deposed and testified in U.S. Federal Court in San Diego. In the process I followed the Abstraction, Filtration and Comparison (AFC) test as defined in the Second Circuit Altai v. Computer Associates.
  • Adobe and Computer Licensing. For this case I acted as a consulting expert. I examined various Adobe products which had licensed software from a small software house called Trio Systems. I prepared a reported asserting that Adobe was violating the licensing terms. Summary judgement was upheld and Adobe settled.
  • In the RIAA versus usenet.com, usenet was offering a service whereby subscribers were granted access to a large number of usenet newsgroups containing copyrighted music. Usenet.com was asked to provide log files of server usage, but they resisted citing a number of reasons. Eventually the judge issued an order affirming the RIAA's claim of spoilation of evidence and granting attorney fees. In the judge's order he states
    "By contrast, Plaintiffs' expert, Ellis Horowitz, engaged in a detailed analysis of Defendants' system and the data available on that system. The Court finds Horowitz's conclusions about Defendants' system to be deserving of substantial weight." Memorandum Opinion and Order 07 Civ.8822 (HB)(THK) Arista Records et al vs. Usenet.com et al
  • In Columbia Pictures et al vs. torrentspy.com, the plaintiff asserted that torrentspy.com offered a service allowing users to locate so-called torrent files for copyrighted content (i.e. movies) allowing the illegal download of those movies using the BitTorrent protocol. In the judges order requiring defendants to preserve and produce log data the judge concluded
    "The court finds plaintiffs' expert Ellis Horowitz to be the most credible of the three technical declarants/witnesses. To the extent the testimony and statements of the other experts/witnesses conflict with those of Horowitz, the court accepts the testimony and statements of Horowitz. Case No. CV 06-1093 FMC(JCx)"
    See also an article on the eventual conclusion of the case: http://www.macworld.com/article/133371/2008/05/torrrentspy.html
  • In Capitol Records, EMI Music North America v Escape Media Group (Grooveshark), 12-CV-06646 (AJN)(SN), the court's order included the statement:
    "Horowitz is an expert in computer science and software engineering. His opinions quoted above and identified by Escape as examples of inadmissible evidence provide explanations as to why certain computer processes might be implemented. These opinions are based on Horowitz’s technical expertise and would “help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.” Fed. R. Evid. 702(a)."
More details about each of the cases can be obtained by contacting Prof. Horowitz at horowitz@usc.edu or 213-740-8056.