What’s In Your Gigabyte?

Interesting post this week on the Lit Support litserv from David Carns at Crowell & Moring, the international law firm with more than 500 lawyers. His original post asked people to define a gigabyte for purposed of e-discovery processing, a reflection of the common trend to price on gigabytes AFTER decompression without telling the client up front that is the practice.

As David put it,   ” … I realize the term GB is in the eye of the beholder, but playing hide-the-ball and using the definition as most benefits your corporation, firm or company is eventually going to go away and a single standard is going to emerge.”

David set up a site for people to answer which of the following four definitions they preferred:

                     Fully decompressed data  

                    Fully decompressed and de-nisted data

                    Data compressed in the course of business (ie, decompress shipping containers)

                    Compressed no matter how done 

The winner by a substantial margin was number 1 with two and three being closely placed and number four falling a distant last. No real surprises there but Davids closing comments were interesting:

“Fully decompressed data was the winner, but it is clear that many other responders have differing opinions. And while my canned responses were far from perfectly worded and open to misinterpretation, it is obvious that we do not have a common standard.  Anyone want to take a stab at a clear, definitive GB standard for the purposes of eDiscovery?”

Indeed. With all the talk of standards being established in the profession, here’s one that begs definition.


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