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Re: Legal signatures ramifications

> Janet Kaul sends the following inquiry:
> Our Legal department wants to put all of their contracts online for easier
> searching and so they don't have to fax them to our salespeople. They are
> scanning in signed contracts, as the salespeople need the signatures to
> show customers.
> However, they don't want anyone to be able to alter these contracts.
> Apparently, by federal law, any facsimile of a contract with signatures is
> still a legal contract, and we could be held liable for someone who has a
> copy and somehow changes it.
> We are scanning the contracts into Acrobat, putting them into a document
> management system, and preventing anyone from saving a copy and changing
> it on their desktop without a password (they have to be able to print to
> take a copy to customers).
> Of course, there is still always the opportunity to do a screen shot when
> viewing, or print a copy out, scan it in, and edit it on the desktop
> somehow. These possibilities are frightening our legal department into
> abandoning putting contracts on line. They realize they face the same
> possibilities when faxing contracts to the sales people, but it's on a
> much smaller scale since not all the contracts are easily obtainable that
> way.
> Has anyone else faced such a situation? How did you resolve it? Does
> anyone have contracts on line in their systems? Does anyone know of any
> changes to the law that might protect a company in these situations?

There are products on the market which are meant to protect images on the
Internet. These are mostly of interest to those marketing images
(photographs, for example), but might provide a solution for your problem.
One such product that has been brought to my attention can be found at
http://www.alchemedia.com/ (this is by no way an endorsement for the


Brian Negin, Legal Advisor
Israel Central Bureau of Statistics
66 Kanfei Nesharim St.
Jerusalem, Israel
Snail mail: POB 34525, Jerusalem 91342, Israel
Tel: 972-2-6592200
Fax: 972-2-6522319
Email: negin@cbs.gov.il
Web Site: http://www.cbs.gov.il