Tuesday, September 9, 2008

litsupport summary for the week ending on 9/07/08

A lot of important and useful information is posted to litsupport each week. The following is a distilled summary, in the form of questions and answers.

Q. A solution to grab an entire website for display during trial without having Internet access?
  1. Adobe 8 has a webcapture function. For embedded flash videos one can keep a screenshot in the adobe pdf webcapture and then use the free open source CamStudio to record the audio and video right off the screen. It does loose a little resolution, but it is good enough for the purpose;
  2. Save the embedded videos (directly from hosting website or using the stream capturing software) to your laptop local drive and fix the html links to point them. This may require editing the JavaScript;
  3. HTTrack can collect the page or the site, Area Tube helps download videos from YouTube and MySpace;
  4. Teleport;
  5. wget (some programming in Perl or other language may be required);
  6. Camtasia can create a movie of a site;
  7. And in all these cases the authentication of the web site evidence is not obvious.
Q. Can we rely upon the log to identify the custodian of a document despite the location of the documents on a network share (either Home share or Departmental share)?
A. This approach is not defensible for many reasons:
  1. One cannot rely on the metadata value in the file or from the backup software to determine the author of the document. A document can be authored by John, e-mailed to Jane, modified by Jane and forwarded to Ted, who saves it to his personal folder on his department's file server;
  2. In a corporation, just with hires and fires over time one can not expect the log to be accurate - especially with unstructured data;
  3. Most OS and user environments do not have reliable metadata.
A practical approach may be to first set acceptance criteria (i.e. what percentage error you are willing to tolerate) and then do a representative sample of known folders and check. If that field is consistent and matches to the known authors, document it and make sure that counsel understand and approve the methodology.

This summary from the Litsupport Group postings created by the wonderful and talented members of the group has been culled by Mark Kerzner (mkerzner@top8.biz) and edited by Aline Bernstein (aline.bernstein@gmail.com).

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