Fabricating Evidence

I read a recent story at Wired’s Threat Level Blog in which the artist who produced the Obama Hope image admitted that he had lied and destroyed and fabricated evidence to support his claim. I am no expert in copyright or fair use law, however, I am pretty sure that the artists actions in lying, destroying evidence, and fabricating evidence did more damage to his case than any actual real evidence ever could.

The blog posts explains:

Fairey [the artist] had long claimed he based his abstract graphic rendition on a photo of Obama seated next to actor George Clooney. In court documents (.pdf) filed Friday, Fairey admitted he actually used a solo shot of Obama from the same event, and had destroyed and fabricated evidence to support his lie.

A review of the linked to court documents reveals that the evidence he attempted to destroy were computer files. I am not sure when, but one of the days I think clients will finally understand that they cannot conceal their electronic actions. If the case is big enough or important enough, someone will eventually discover that electronic evidence has been tampered with. Moreover, in all likelihood the resulting sanctions or adverse inference instruction will probably do much more damage to the case than the destroyed evidence ever would.