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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Documents Is Documents

I blogged a little last year about the probable ease of admitting Web pages as evidence (Electronic Discovery And Weblogs), and a colleague of mine later had some fun during the FareChase litigation introducing a contradictory Web page he located in court during the direct exam of an adverse witness (Cross Exam Heaven). Now CIS reports that "a magistrate judge in the Northern District of Illinois held that 'snapshots' taken by the Internet Archive that depict web pages as they appeared in the past are admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence. The court rejected the arguments...that the archived pages constituted hearsay and that the Internet Archive was an 'unreliable source.'" [Via BoingBoing]

Good for the magistrate judge. You might be surprised at what documents routinely are admitted in evidence. There's no reason to deem Web pages any more unreliable than any other form of scribbling, particularly those in the Internet Archive, the whole purpose of which is to provide an enduring record.

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