There's been some interesting progress in the Egay v. Digital Point et al. lawsuit in the past few days. (If you don't know about this, egay is suing DP and several other companies and people for using black hat techniques in their affiliate program.) A draft case management statement has been published. It's not been approved, but it probably will be, and it lays out what both sides agree should be the timetable for the case. There's also some interesting factoids in there. First of all, the FBI seized all the servers, computers and physical files of the defendants back in July 2007, and still refuses to return them or provide the defendants with a copy of the data. This means there is still the possibility of a criminal prosecution, as well as the civil case that egay is bringing. It also means that DP has had to do without all their business records for eighteen months now. Begin rant: Fuck that! What happened to the constitutional right to a speedy trial? If you put someone out of business for a year and a half on the say so of a large corporation that's punishment without trial. That blows. End rant. Anyhow, the civil case is scheduled to ramble on until October 2010, but it may be delayed still further, because both sides need to see the files and documents that are currently in the hands of the FBI. However, there is one case that is coming to trial much sooner, and should give us a hint as to which way the main civil suit will go. Back when the alleged offenses took place, egay's affiliate program was run by CJ. The month that it all blew up, CJ had paid commission to several of the defendants as usual, but egay refused to pay commission to CJ. CJ is now suing the defendants to get that money back. It's going through the California courts rather than the federal courts where the egay case is, so I don't have the same level of detail on the case, but it is due to go to court in March 2009. If they defendants' lawyers think they have a strong case, they will probably take this to trial and try and get a judgment in their favor. This will not be binding on the judge in the egay case, but it will obviously have some influence. On the other hand, if they feel their case is not good, they will probably settle out of court, probably the day before the trial starts, for a deal where they pay the money back but do not admit guilt, and keep the agreement secret. CJ just wants their money back so would probably agree to this. Egay really wants to win here to establish a precedent, so they are throwing the best lawyers money can buy at it, and if they lose the first round they may well appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. The defendants are likely to spend ten years of their lives dealing with this law suit, even if they keep winning. There is also still the possibility that they FBI will decide to prosecute and the defendants will face jail time for fraud. So, if you plan of getting rich from EPN using black hat techniques and you live in a country where ebay has an office, better have your escape route planned. You are less likely to get sued if you are outside the reach of the local court system. If you have one grandparent born in Italy or Ireland you are entitled to an EEC passport. The Bahamas will give you a residence permit if you buy a condo there. Other suggestions for countries it is easy to move to welcome?