If you haven’t yet watched this reenactment of a deposition segment about the meaning of the word “photocopier” on the New York Times website, you should. The New York Times summarizes the lawsuit in which the deposition was taken as follows:
In 2010, the Cuyahoga County Recorder’s Office in Ohio changed their policy about copying records. Digital files would no longer be available, and the public would have to make hard copies of documents for $2 per page. This would prove to be prohibitively expensive for Data Trace Information Services and Property Insight, companies that collect hundreds of pages of this public information each week. They sued the Recorder’s Office for access to digital versions of the documents on a CD. In the middle of the case, a lawyer representing them questioned the IT administrator of the Recorder’s Office, which led to a 10-page argument over the semantics of photocopiers.
The deposition segment starts with a question about whether the Recorder’s Office used “photocopying machines – any photocopying machine?” The deponent attempts to turn the table: “When you say photocopying machine, what do you mean?” The ensuing dialogue would not be out of place in an absurdist play.