You might not think that screenshots as evidence would be acceptable by courts. But, as this article from Jim Gill of Hanzo tells you, it’s not that simple.
In his article When it Comes to Using Screenshots as Evidence, It’s All About Authentication, Jim discusses Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) Rules 1001, 1002, and 1003, which together define “best evidence” when it comes to discovery. Rule 1002 sets the standard for obtaining original documents. However, Rule 1001 states, “Present-day techniques have expanded methods of storing data, yet the essential form which the information ultimately assumes for usable purposes is words and figures. Hence the considerations underlying the rule dictate its expansion to include computers, photographic systems, and other modern developments.”
FRE Rule 1001 goes on to define an admissible copy as being, “produced by methods possessing an accuracy which virtually eliminates the possibility of error.” And Rule 1003 opens the door to using duplicates by stating, “When the only concern is with getting the words or other contents before the court with accuracy and precision, then a counterpart serves equally as well as the original if the counterpart is the product of a method which ensures accuracy and genuineness.”
So, what did the courts decide regarding accepting screenshots as evidence in each of these cases? As Meat Loaf would sing, “Two out of three ain’t bad”. Two out of three which way? You’ll have to read his blog post here to find out! It’s just one more click!
So, what do you think? Have you had screenshots as evidence in any of your cases? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
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