Monday, December 11, 2006

MySpace and the Federal Rules of Evidence

Ok, so I have a MySpace account, and most of my listed friends are people that I've met in person, though scattered across the globe. Chances are that I won't be adding anything to my profile that I have to worry about becoming evidence in a legal case. Can information from MySpace even be admitted into court?

A First Monday article, MySpace on the record: The admissibility of social website content under the Federal Rules of Evidence, asks that very question, and also looks at other sites such as Craigslist, personal blogs, and eBay.

The article sets up some hypothetical fact patterns, and examines some similar real life events, in asking whether or not certain information written on the web can be used in a couple of different criminal prosecutions and a products liability case.

It looks in detail at the authentication of that evidence, the application of the hearsay rule, and the best evidence rule. It then applies those rules to the fact patterns created. Nice article.