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Re: Warranty disclaimers with SHOUTY CAPITALS

"John Halton" <johnhalton@gmail.com> writes:

> I have a (slightly old) edition of Rennie's "Computer and Internet
> Contracts and Law" (a leading English software precedents
> looseleaf), and the notes state as follows in a number of contracts:
> "USA: NOTE: In all States in the USA (except Louisiana) all
> disclaimers of warranty of merchantability or warranty of fitness
> for any particular purpose must be conspicuous and are usually in
> boldface or uppercase (capital) print or both."

The law, as described here, is an ass.

Writing a long passage in SHOUTY CAPITALS makes it "conspicuous", yes;
but, unlike a change of font or boldface, it becomes *less readable*,
and so less likely that the consumer will read it, than if it were in
the same mixed case as the rest of the text.

> According to the commentary, this is a requirement of the Uniform
> Commercial Code. (Quick forage on Wikipedia). Here you go:
> http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/2/article2.htm#s2-316

Thanks for the reference. It's too bad the code in this case has the
opposite effect of the ostensible purpose: to help the consumer read
the important parts.

> So it appears the legal requirement is for the disclaimer to be
> "conspicuous". However, it's difficult to see how you can achieve
> this in plain text other than by SHOUTY CAPITALS, alas.

By surrounding the passage with lines of separator characters above
and below, would be one suggestion that I consider superior to SHOUTY

(Good sigmonster, have a cookie)

 \     "It's my belief we developed language because of our deep inner |
  `\               need to complain."  -- Jane Wagner, via Lily Tomlin |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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