What's your baseline?

Baseline = zero

I often use a baseline of zero.

This is helpful when trying to find a justification for making quick decisions or moving past well-meaning indecision.

100 DoMA (Hinges)

Day 1

Post settlement and all legal rights and responsibilities are jointly tenanted in our names, subject to the venerable courts of law, the sensibilities of equity and the laws of her Majesty's parliament (Commonwealth).

Tremendous.

Today I oiled all the door hinges in the house. Three different types, but most were responsive to liquid petroleum.

A cute juxtaposition.

Legalish - Contract algebra

Contact = (offer + acceptance) * (intention to be bound) + (consideration)

DoMA #100 Days of MIddle Australia

Fuck me. I have a house, with endless handyman tasks.

This is a log of those tasks - or 100 Days of Middle Australia ("DoMA").

Legalish - everything is trademarked

There's a trademark for that...

tl;dr - because many common words are trademarked, doesn't mean trademarking is useless

"Hey dude, some really basic words are trademarked. Does that means I'll get sued if I use them in this project?"

"Hi mate, good one. It probably seems strange that common words are trademarked, but it makes sense. It also doesn't mean that trademarking is useless.

"Like what?"

"Well, common words that are trademarked are usually registered in a very narrow way. When you register a trademark, you need to describe how it is used (it's "class"). Most of these a described narrowly. Eg. the word "Study" is registered, but it's class relates to use of word in the context of "Non-Japanese style outer wear"; the mark "Three" is registered, but in relation to "Chewing gum"; "Project" is registered for use in connection with charitable services

"kk"

"Also, many common word marks are actually conditional on being used with another mark or in a specific context. Eg - the word "Project" is registered as part of the phrase "Peng You".

"So the registration of the trademark applies only when used with the phrase "Peng You"?"

"Yep. The other thing that happens is that trademarks become 'household' or generic name for a type of product. Check this out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_and_genericized_trademarks)"

"Interesting. So, you're saying that just because common words are trademarked, doesn't mean they are protected / off-limits for use?"

"That's it!"

Legalish - ALL CAPS

Why are parts of some contracts in ALL CAPS?

tl;dr mild, unjustified, conservatism

Attempts to unify commercial law in the United States in the ±1950s (Uniform Commercial Code) introduced the requirement that certain parts of a contract be "conspicuous".

In the 1950's (the decade of the the first dot matrix printer and high-level compiler were created, and the Turing Test), type-writers were a thing and All Caps was an obvious candidate for conspicuousness.

Obviously, in decades since, when word processing is second-nature to most, and bold, underline and highlight functions obvious to most, All Caps is pretty silly.

Plenty of judges think so too. Yet, there's something about the click of a typewriter in All Caps.

There have been a few studies showing that CAPS are actually harder to read and, although they do more generally emphasise the capitalised text over uncapitalised, there are plenty of other great ways to emphasise something.

Tried and tested alternatives include:

  • bold and underline the relevant text
  • highlighting or colour differentiating text
  • distinguishing text interactively (scroll-pause).

However, as with much innovation, unless there's a need to improve something that ain't broke, All Caps is here to stay.

Legalish - Emoji trouble

Tl;dr Emojis can be copyrights, but aren't

Why?
Once emojis were standardised under the unicode system, they became open to copyright, in the same way that fonts can be copyrighted.

The letter “Y” can’t be copyrighted, but the way you write it (it’s font - eg. JetBrains Mono) can be. Eg. the expressions of U+1F643 = https://emojipedia.org/upside-down-face/ are all protected.

That means that there’s always a chance the author could asset their rights over how an emoji is used. It doesn’t happen (often), thankfully.

Practically!
It’s better to use open-source emojis in a commercial context. Here are some:

https://github.com/twitter/twemoji

https://github.com/googlefonts/noto-emoji/

https://www.emojidex.com/

100 DoMA- 2 (knobs)

Knobs are knobs.

Finished installing a lockable door knob between garage and house. This now means a smashed window (present) in the garage or a weak lock on the external garage door (present) don't present as great a vulnerability.

Then proceeded to oil and tighten all other door handles in the house, yielding two moribund door handles. One is lockable (dunny) and the other not.

While shopping for a replacement our full basket shopping basket was taken from the floor behind us - with my phone in it. Twenty panic-riddwn minutes later, "Jason" from "Special Orders" picked it up to our frantic calls.

I either love or loath him, depending on either his benevolent or malevolence.

100 DoMA (flyscreens)

Fly screams, more like it.

How hard should it be? Flyscreens are an indispensable part of the life in Australia. It's indispensable, in the sense that, if you have a screen with holes, your life might as well be over.

We have a few holely flyscreens.

Pulling out the old spline (yep, a thick plastic ropey material, stuffed around the frame) and screen mesh is easy and satisfying enough. Washing the frame, even more so.

Setting the new mesh over the frame is where the problems seem to begin. The screen moves about and isn't taut. This leads to sagging.

Problems ensue with the insertion of the new spline, which has a predilection to lumpiness. A little roller (envisage, a small wheel on a knife) helps with this.

After the screen and spline are inserted, there's a little consolation in the satisfying process of trimming edges of screen.

By the time the door, with new screen, is back on its sliders, all satisfaction is thoroughly eroded. And the sodded insects find another gap...

Legalish #

tl;dr - there's a bit more to legal stuff

Yes, legal departments are probably slower than other departments. There are reasons for this.

Here are some reasons why:

- We're humans, often with a bent for 'perfection'.

Project managing; issue spotting; internal logics; communication/explanation delays; context changing; outsourced decision making; human inefficiencies; options; unwritten restrictions

- lawyers place to much importance on 'legal' considerations

Legalish - OSSz

Tl;dr - OSS licensing is important

"Hey, from a legal perspective, are copyright notices worth the effort to get right?"

"Umm, yes."

Why?
In the same way that paying fees is usually a condition of a proprietary licenses, often correct attribution is a condition of FOSS license. So, in one sense, not doing it or caring to get it right is like not paying for a license.

And, it can lead to you getting sued. Apart from OSS warriors (who will sue for principle), a clever competitor can also take a swipe, as CoKinetic did at Panasonic Aviation (google it).

Breaching FOSS licenses is awkward, especially if you use a lot of FOSS, or happen to be a vocal supporters of the OSS community. Wix epically embarrassed wordpress for incorrectly applying GPL (google it).

I wonder if FOSS attribution and 'admin' is really such a big pain and what I (legalite) can do to help beyond a robust compliance program...

Legalish #5

Tl;dr - OSS licensing is important

"Hey, from a legal perspective, are copyright notices worth the effort to get right?"

"Umm, yes."

Why?
In the same way that paying fees is usually a condition of a proprietary licenses, often correct attribution is a condition of FOSS license. So, in one sense, not doing it or caring to get it right is like not paying for a license.

And, it can lead to you getting sued. Apart from OSS warriors (who will sue for principle), a clever competitor can also take a swipe, as CoKinetic did at Panasonic Aviation (google it).

Breaching FOSS licenses is awkward, especially if you use a lot of FOSS, or happen to be a vocal supporters of the OSS community. Wix epically embarrassed wordpress for incorrectly applying GPL (google it).

I wonder if FOSS attribution and 'admin' is really such a big pain and what I (legalite) can do to help beyond a robust compliance program...

Legalish #3

There's a trademark for that...

tl;dr - because many common words are trademarked, doesn't mean trademarking is useless

"Hey dude, some really basic words are trademarked. Does that means I'll get sued if I use them in this project?"

"Hi mate, good one. It probably seems strange that common words are trademarked, but it makes sense. It also doesn't mean that trademarking is useless.

"Like what?"

"Well, common words that are trademarked are usually registered in a very narrow way. When you register a trademark, you need to describe how it is used (it's "class"). Most of these a described narrowly. Eg. the word "Study" is registered, but it's class relates to use of word in the context of "Non-Japanese style outer wear"; the mark "Three" is registered, but in relation to "Chewing gum"; "Project" is registered for use in connection with charitable services

"kk"

"Also, many common word marks are actually conditional on being used with another mark or in a specific context. Eg - the word "Project" is registered as part of the phrase "Peng You".

"So the registration of the trademark applies only when used with the phrase "Peng You"?"

"Yep. The other thing that happens is that trademarks become 'household' or generic name for a type of product. Check this out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_and_genericized_trademarks)"

"Interesting. So, you're saying that just because common words are trademarked, doesn't mean they are protected / off-limits for use?"

"That's it!"

Legalish #2

Why are parts of some contracts in ALL CAPS?

tl;dr mild, unjustified, conservatism

Attempts to unify commercial law in the United States in the ±1950s (Uniform Commercial Code) introduced the requirement that certain parts of a contract be "conspicuous".

In the 1950's (the decade of the the first dot matrix printer and high-level compiler were created, and the Turing Test), type-writers were a thing and All Caps was an obvious candidate for conspicuousness.

Obviously, in decades since, when word processing is second-nature to most, and bold, underline and highlight functions obvious to most, All Caps is pretty silly.

Plenty of judges think so too. Yet, there's something about the click of a typewriter in All Caps.

There have been a few studies showing that CAPS are actually harder to read and, although they do more generally emphasise the capitalised text over uncapitalised, there are plenty of other great ways to emphasise something.

Tried and tested alternatives include:

  • bold and underline the relevant text
  • highlighting or colour differentiating text
  • distinguishing text interactively (scroll-pause).

However, as with much innovation, unless there's a need to improve something that ain't broke, All Caps is here to stay.

Legalish #1

Hey

Few lawyerly tidbits and thoughts.Meant for non-lawyers.

Thoughts my own, to the extent any thought is actually original.

You're silly if you think this is actual legal advice!