Re: Final text of GPL v3
Sean Kellogg wrote:
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
Are you familiar enough with the laws of Italy (where Francesco appears
to reside) to state that there are such laws which apply to him?
There is no exception provided by adding disclaimers, there is only the
question of whether or not legal advice was given.
How are you defining "legal advice"? If it is "advice on matters which
may relate to the law", then that could be taken to be anything. It's a
definition so broad as to be useless.
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.
So if the speaker in your "Bob" example is in one of these
jurisdictions, saying what he said is technically illegal? Do you not
think that this makes the law an ass?
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.
Why? I've never seen that happen (although I've only been on the list
for a year or two). It's certainly not a regular occurrence.
Does this line of argument mean that when I watch "Boston Legal", and
decide to follow the advice some of those (fictional) lawyers gave their
clients, I can sue the program when it all goes wrong, because the word
"Legal" in the name gave me a reasonable expectation that they were
providing "legal advice"?