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Re: Final text of GPL v3

On Saturday 30 June 2007 09:56:44 am Francesco Poli wrote:
> On Sat, 30 Jun 2007 16:31:29 +0100 Anthony Towns wrote:
> > Francesco is not a lawyer,
> I *explicitly* wrote this disclaimer in my comment message ("The usual
> disclaimers: IANAL, IANADD."): I cannot understand why you seem to have
> such fun in pointing fingers at other people and repeating "he/she's not
> a lawyer!", "he/she's not a Debian developer!"...

Francesco...  as I've said on this list before, "IANAL" is not a sufficient 
disclaimer.  Nor is saying "this is not legal advice."  There are laws, 
criminal laws, against the providing of legal advice by those who not 
certified by the Bar Association within the jurisdiction the advice is given 
in.  There is no exception provided by adding disclaimers, there is only the 
question of whether or not legal advice was given.

You can raise questions as to whether something is, or is not, legal advice.  
But definitive statements like "I wish it could, but I am afraid it 
cannot..." in response to a question about the meaning of a particular term 
in a legal document is arguably legal advice.  

> > that isn't legal advice,
> Since I explicitly noted that IANAL, it goes without saying that I
> cannot give legal advice.

This, of course, is patently false.  Anyone can provide legal advice...  
people do it all the time ("gee Bob, you should claim X on your taxes", 
or "the judge will reduce your ticket if you show up in court", etc).  You 
don't have to be a lawyer to provide it, you just need to be a lawyer to do 
so legally in those jursidictions that require certification.  Of course, the 
law is an awfully grey space, so there's lots of flexibility, and for the 
most part lay-persons can get away with providing legal advice to their 
friends because the relationship is clear.  Here, on an email list 
entitled "debian-legal" I think one might have a reasonable expectation that 
actual lawyers were providing advice.

To that end, Mr. Towns' continued reminders that you are not, in fact, a 
lawyer, is helpful to those who may be mistaken that you are, as it would 
appear, providing legal advice.


Sean Kellogg
e: skellogg@gmail.com
w: http://blog.probonogeek.org/

So, let go
 ...Jump in
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