Watch This Hilarious Argument Over The Legal Definition Of Photocopier

You know what a photocopying machine is, I know what a photocopying machine is, but this IT guy has decided he does not. This very real transcript from the Ohio Supreme Court follows seven minutes of absurd yet somehow perfectly logical arguments over what a photocopying machine really is -- in legal terms.

Brett Weiner created the video reenactment for the New York Times, but the transcript comes word-for-word from the deposition of an Ohio Supreme Court Case. In 2010, the Cuyahoga County Recorder's Office in Ohio was sued for changing its policies on making documents available to the public. At some point, the county's IT guy was brought in, and they spent 10 pages of transcript going down a legal rabbit hole. Here's a taste of how twisted the conversation gets.

D: When you say "photocopying machine," what do you mean?

PL: Let me be clear. The term "photocopying machine" is so ambiguous that you can't picture in your mind what a photocopying machine is in an office setting?

D: I just want to make sure I answer your question correctly.

He's just trying to get it right, sir! This particular case never went to trial, and it was resolved when the Ohio Supreme Court decided documents should be made public digitally for $US1 per CD. Guess no photocopying machines were required after all.

But the legal definition of technology -- particularly new technology that defies existing categorisations -- underpins many major issues of the day. When it comes to net neutrality, is the internet a public utility or is it an "information service?" And Aereo, which is being challenged in front of the Supreme Court right now -- is it acting like a cable company or just a private company that gives you a personal antenna? It isn't always as easy as, "I know it when I see it." [New York Times]



    link to the transcript talked about, i figure since i was looking for it other people would be too

    It kicks off around page 280, but the whole thing is pretty amusing, its a great lesson in not assuming knowledge of anything and as a consequence wasting a lot of time and money :P

      I know I like it when Allure Media subsidiaries don't put in the original links to their news, prompting the public to do their job which amounts to a 5-second Google search.

      Thanks, random stranger!

    This video made my day. especially the very last word.

    Oh what terrible acting!

    A word in general use can't be trademarked. That's why Adobe don't like people saying they "photoshopped" a picture.

    I'm guessing that's why Xerox prefer people use the term "photocopy".

      But at the same time they like it because it all adds to their bottom line - sales.

      Here's a few more I remember
      - Hoover
      - Hilti Bolt - Linked to a british saying around Bolting someone down
      - Kleenex
      - Googled

        "Stanley Knife" is one that irks me to no end. 'Stanley' is the brand people. It's called a Utility knife, not a Stanley knife.

        Also a lot of people seem to call all sandwich toasters "Brevilles", regardless of whether they are Breville brand or not.

    What about "Coke" (as in Coca-Cola, not the other stuff) often used to designate any brownish coloured soda or Allen key, or even Wellies (Wellington Boots). Just household names come to become the item itself. But there's a setback to doing that, take Glass (as in Google) for instance, only the context in which the word Glass is used will allow to define what the word actually means now. That annoys me more than Coke or Allen Key because a noun should be a branded name, it's too generic and defeats the purpose of having nouns altogether. They could have called it , hell i dunno, something like GROYN as in Google Research On Your Nose. That'll be a game catcher !

    Typoed a piece there, plz read : because a noun should NOT be a branded name

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