Lawyers Commission Historical Study on Photocopiers in Cuyahoga County's Great Photocopier Court Case

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Earlier this year we shared the case of Data Trace, a company that profits from bundling and reselling boring government records.

For years, the Cuyahoga County Recorder’s Office furnished Data Trace with CDs full of files for the recession-busting price of $50 a day. That was before a slight change in house policy upped the fee to a per-copy basis — resulting in a somewhat less modest fee of thousands of dollars daily. Naturally, Data Trace sued the county.

At the time, The Plain Dealer made sport of the testimony of a recorder’s office worker who jousted at length with a Data Trace lawyer over the definition of the term “copy.” The newspaper’s implication was that the employee was an overpaid, fumbling clown who couldn’t or wouldn’t give a straightforward explanation of something as obvious as what a photocopier is.

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