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Re: Legal signatures ramifications

I believe the lawyers are worried that the salespeople employed by the
firm will modify the contract given to the potential customer without
permission from an officer of the company. A printed contract will have
language stating that such modifications are valid only if initialed by an
officer of the corporation, and the customer is therefore on notice that
the salesman can't improve the offer on his own. With a printed PDF file,
the salesman can modify the contract without the customer being aware of
it, and therefore the company might become liable for what the salesman
put into the contract without permission.

On Tue, 15 Feb 2000, Peter Graham wrote:

> 1.  I'm sure the lawyers, as usual, are being excessively conservative.  
> I can't believe their interpretation (of "any copy" of the contract being
> legal) is correct.  We've all distributed xeroxed copies of contracts
> we've managed for years and never heard anything of this nor of the
> putative dangers.  If such a modified contract were attempted to be
> enforced it would show up as unauthoritative right away when compared with
> signed originals, and would open the violator up to other charges.
> 2.  It would be trivial to provide these for visibility and have them
> provably not authoritative.  For example: provide them as 80%-size PDFs
> with additional marks on them that when copied or expanded would show the
> result of size-change (a la safety lines on checks); or use a pattern
> background; etc. etc.
> > Janet Kaul sends the following inquiry:
> >
> > 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.--
> Peter Graham    Syracuse University Library    psgraham@syr.edu
> Syracuse NY 13244-2010 315/443-5530 fax 315/443-2060 11/99nw4.4