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Re: Legal signatures ramifications

I have recently begun to download licenses from vendors' web sites, or
scan paper copies, onto my PC.  Primarily this is for new products that we
are purchasing, so that I can edit the licenses with any changes required
by University Legal Counsel.

However, I also intend to keep the licenses on my PC to make them easier
to go back to when use restrictions need to be reviewed.  They won't be
available to anyone else, although I was moving in that direction.  Our
Public Service Librarians need to be aware of any conditions of use
specified by the vendor, and I have to communicate the information one way
or another.

Judith Niles
Director of Collection Management
University of Louisville Libraries
Ekstrom Library G41
Louisville  KY  40292
Phone: 502.852.6753
Fax: 502.852.8714
email: judith.niles@louisville.edu

>>> ann.okerson@yale.edu 02/14/00 11:30PM >>>
Janet Kaul sends the following inquiry:

-----Original Message-----

I'd adore it if anyone could give me insight on the following dilemma.

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

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?

Any help is appreciated.

Janet Kaul, Corporate Knowledge Librarian, jmk@synopsys.com 

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