In re Certified Question (Deacon v. Pandora) (Opinion on Application)Annotate this Case
Peter Deacon, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, brought an action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Pandora Media, Inc., which operated an Internet-based music-streaming program. In relevant part, Deacon claimed that Pandora violation of the Michigan preservation of personal privacy act (PPPA) by publically disclosing personal information concerning his music preferences. The federal district court ruled in favor of defendant, and under MCR 7.305(B), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit certified a question of Michigan law to the Michigan Supreme Court: "Has Deacon stated a claim against Pandora for violation of the VRPA by adequately alleging that Pandora is [in] the business of 'renting' or 'lending' sound recordings, and that he is a 'customer' of Pandora because he 'rents' or 'borrows' sound recordings from Pandora? " Having heard oral argument and considered the issues involved, the Michigan Supreme Court granted the Ninth Circuit’s request to answer its question. However, the Michigan Court limited the question to whether Deacon could be characterized under the PPPA as a "customer" of Pandora because at the relevant time he was a person who "rent[ed]" or "borrow[ed]" sound recordings from defendant. The Supreme Court concluded that Deacon was not such a "customer."