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New forum rule: No legal interpretations
Thread poster: Enrique Cavalitto

Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 00:03
SITE STAFF
Jul 10, 2006

We have added http://www.proz.com/siterules/forum/10#10 to our forum rules

10 No legal interpretations. Legal interpretations and legal challenges to ProZ.com policies and features should not be made in the forums, but sent in writing to ProZ.com headquarters.

This is by attorney instruction. Your compliance is appreciated.

Enrique


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:03
French to Spanish
+ ...
Pues... Jul 10, 2006

...como no entiendo bien inglés, como muchos otros me imagino, io non capici, pas compris, nicht fershteen.
Supongo que es tema importante -por lo de "This is by attorney instruction"- y que es imposible traducirlo a todos los idiomas... ¿pero al menos a los "majors", como el asunto WWA, que me perdí olímpicamente?

La comunidad hispano parlante, agradecida.


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 05:03
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Badly worded rule. Jul 10, 2006

"10. No legal interpretations. Legal interpretations and legal challenges to ProZ.com policies and features should not be made in the forums, but sent in writing to ProZ.com headquarters."

Hi Enrique,

Is it supposed to read
A) "Legal interpretations of, and legal challenges to ProZ.com policies....."? i.e. purely in relation to ProZ?

Or are we to construe it in its present wording?

B) "Legal interpretations (i.e. of any nature, on any subject) and legal challenges to (specifically ProZ.com) bla, bla...."

I trust it's the former.

If the latter, mal asunto.

i.e. "No legal interpretations of WHAT?" (Sorry about the loud voice).

Cheers,
Andy


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Luis Arri Cibils  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:03
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Questions re the new rules Jul 11, 2006

Juan Jacob wrote:

...como no entiendo bien inglés, como muchos otros me imagino, io non capici, pas compris, nicht fershteen.
Supongo que es tema importante -por lo de "This is by attorney instruction"- y que es imposible traducirlo a todos los idiomas... ¿pero al menos a los "majors", como el asunto WWA, que me perdí olímpicamente?

La comunidad hispano parlante, agradecida.


Hi, Juan:

Please kindly remove your tongue from your cheek, my dear professional translator in pairs that "include, without limitations," English to French and French to English. It may get stuck there, creating untolerable pain. Needless to say, I support your suggestion that rules such as this, which are related to other very important topics being discussed at this time, be translated to languages other than the 21st Century Latin.

Quique: a request for clarification, seconding Andy's post. In a couple of threads it was stated by a colleague that this rule would apply not only to ProZ procedures and features, but as to anything "legal." (Another colleague, a moderator, said no.) In particular, in one of those forums, the person who started the thread asked whether an agency which had requested him to sign a general freelance agreement was trying to pull a fast one on him. I disagreed, at least in part, with some of the answers he got. I have signed many of those "master or framework agreements" and see nothing wrong with them. Would I have violated this new rule if I had stated my disagreement?

A second related question: In that long, 50-page thread, a colleague asked why one would oppose to the proposed WWA feature if one supported the BB. I had to answer my opinion: I wasn't (and still am not) sure that the BB is legally kosher. I wasn't (and still am not) able to say it was not. Question: How would you handle these issues, very hot today, that to fully answer them demand a legal opinion?

Best,

Luis


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:03
French to Spanish
+ ...
Rates, for example? Jul 11, 2006

Tongue out of my cheek, right, Luis.

So, rates are a legal issue, I presume, as ProZ said -many times- it cannot fix rates because of U.S. laws. A lot of people didn't know that. Now they do after a lot, a lot of writing. So, from now on, no talking about -low- rates... is that right, or should I ask once more for translation into French or Spanish in order to get a clear picture of the new rule?

As Andy says: "No legal interpetation of what?"

Right:

We're no lawyers (Well, some are, please do excuse me): How are we supposed to know when a issue is a legal matter or not about ProZ? Would it be possible to put down very clearly what issues are "legal interpretations and legal challenges to ProZ.com policies" in order to save a lot, a lot of other pages of writing?


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:03
I second Andy's question: Jul 11, 2006

Andy Watkinson wrote:

"i.e. "No legal interpretations of WHAT?" (Sorry about the loud voice).


Are you referring ONLY to "Proz.com policies and features", or to legal interpretations on any other topics? Thanks for clarifying.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 06:03
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Just curious: Does this apply also to non-English fora? Jul 11, 2006

No matter what ever this rule means - how would Proz.com staff apply these new rules in fora, whose language they don't understand?
Regards
Heinrich


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 04:03
Dutch to English
+ ...
Just a few questions before the thread is locked ....... Jul 11, 2006

Enrique wrote:

We have added http://www.proz.com/siterules/forum/10#10 to our forum rules

10 No legal interpretations. Legal interpretations and legal challenges to ProZ.com policies and features should not be made in the forums, but sent in writing to ProZ.com headquarters.

This is by attorney instruction. Your compliance is appreciated.

Enrique



1. This is by attorney instruction? - since when are we subject to the "instructions" of some faceless attorney whose limited jurisdiction certainly does not extend over cyberspace?

He/she may be ProZ's attorney but is in no position to instruct anyone.

2. Did this same attorney draft this "rule"? If so, can you ask him/her to redraft so that its true purport and meaning comes to light?:

e.g. "Whereas locking a forum thread everytime it becomes problematic takes up considerable time of both staff and moderators;

Whereas the site will function better and far more harmoniously if freedom of (dissenting) expression is removed;

Whereas, although the term "forum" refers to an Internet message board and thus implies a place for discussion and possible differences of opinion, ProZ would not be a happy place if we allowed the forums to function in this way;

The following decision has therefore been taken:

Any differences of opinion in relation to ProZ policies and features that include any form of criticism about the site whatsoever shall be deemed a legal challenge or interpretation.

Only positive things about the site may be written on the forums.

Anything that could possibly be construed as negative or lead to debate must be kept from the public eye and, as such, must be sent in writing to Proz headquarters where we, the staff, will take as long to reply as we wish, if at all."

3. The site should go one step further and make George Orwell's 1984 compulsory reading for those who wish to join the "Party" and learn the true art of obedience and compliance.

Yes, the posting is tongue in cheek (to a point)

D

[Edited at 2006-07-11 04:09]


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 22:03
English to Russian
+ ...
I'm completely lost in interpretation Jul 11, 2006

Sadly, the U.S. is notorious for making anything at all "a legal issue" on a spot. Somewhere I read once that Texas alone has more lawyers than the entire Japan:-) Must give all the credit to the attorney in question - the language is brilliant:-) - noone can define neither a clear range of prohibited subject matters nor the terms of reference yet nothing in the entire Universe falls out of "you may not", if necessary.

While having a full understanding of commercial site rights to make money and be protected by its own legal department, somehow I'm beginning to feel that we are being sucked into a corporate world where membership means signing a corporate policy, and carrots and sticks are carefully measured by the Board.

I have a simple questions - What is the procedure for Proz rules coming into effect?

As one of the Russian colleagues said, we are living "in a permanent remodeling state" rolling at us at a pace that will inevitably irritate many good people, making them go away. It is getting harder and harder to consume and digest daily "breaking news". We need to catch our breath once in a while, otherwise we shall simply lose the ability to react properly and every innovation will be regarded as an eyesore by definition, without even studying it.

Corporations now have psychologists along with lawyers, they help to control the crowd:-) Bombarding people already on the edge with more peeves is not wise:-)

[Edited at 2006-07-11 04:22]


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Ford Prefect  Identity Verified
Burkina Faso
Local time: 03:03
German to English
+ ...
The steamroller of change Jul 11, 2006

Enrique wrote:

10 No legal interpretations.


I understand this to mean legal interpretations of anything. So our learned friends are no longer allowed to contribute their insight to legalese kudoz questions etc.

Deborah wrote:
some faceless attorney whose limited jurisdiction certainly does not extend over cyberspace?


Attorneys have NO jurisdiction anywhere - only courts have jurisdiction. I am entitled to ignore an attorney's "instruction", I am not entitled to ignore a court's instruction.


He/she may be ProZ's attorney but is in no position to instruct anyone.


But Proz are of course entitled to make any rule they like regarding use of their site, irrespective of whether an attorney "instructs" it, including unilaterally withdrawing services from their members without compensation and banning several members for expressing a negative opinion of WWA. As we can now only talk about the beautiful sunset and colours of the pretty rainbow over the sweet-smelling meadow, I expect all meaningful discussion is going to move off-site.

IreneN wrote:
We need to catch our breath once in a while, otherwise we shall simply lose the ability to react properly and every innovation will be regarded as an eyesore by definition, without even studying it.


This point was made very eloquently in one of the earlier discussions. Constant change and tinkering is getting up some peoples' noses.

What a beautiful sunset over the sweet-smelling meadow.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 04:03
Dutch to English
+ ...
Precisely my friend ..... Jul 11, 2006

[quote]James Visanji DipTrans PhD wrote:


Deborah wrote:
some faceless attorney whose limited jurisdiction certainly does not extend over cyberspace?


Attorneys have NO jurisdiction anywhere - only courts have jurisdiction. I am entitled to ignore an attorney's "instruction", I am not entitled to ignore a court's instruction.

Precisely! My choice of wording was quite deliberate but my sarcasm may have gone over some heads - i.e. we have an attorney here who apparently equates his importance to that of the Supreme Court.

But let's not go off-topic .........

As for the rest of your observations, well put.

D


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Tadej Kokalj  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 05:03
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Disclaimer Jul 11, 2006

James Visanji DipTrans PhD wrote:

Attorneys have NO jurisdiction anywhere - only courts have jurisdiction.


I am just wondering: is this already "legal interpretation"?

And just a suggestion: find another attorney.

Someone who is capable to write disclaimer (of at least 2000 words) how Proz is not responsible for the contents of the forums etc.


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:03
English to Italian
maybe... Jul 11, 2006

a little more information on the reasons would have been helpful. Like this it sounds like a Diktat.

Giovanni


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 23:03
SITE FOUNDER
Rationale Jul 11, 2006

I have been advised that if someone makes a false statement in our forums and we don't correct it, and it stands unchallenged on our site, that statement might be used to strengthen a legal argument against us. (I was given this advice by an attorney several years ago.)

The new rule was proposed after the recent WWA thread. In that thread, a number of members had a discussion on the legality, or lack thereof, of the proposed WWA system (or at least on the proposed WWA system as they understood it.) There was no problem with this discussion per se. There was also no opportunity that a legally binding determination on the matter was going to be made through the course of discussion in the forums. If one wants to have an answer to a legal question, there is a point at which one must turn it over to legal professionals or the legal system. I said that in the forum, which is our standard practice and is normally enough.

The problem that arose, and that gave rise to this rule, is that one of the members of the discussion simply refused to stop discussing the legality of the proposed WWA feature. If, indeed, the responsible thing for us to do is to respond to all false statements and interpretations, we would be forced to respond to each and every post on the matter.

Normally, this would be an alternative. In the recent case, however, the adamant member posted and emailed so many times that as a practical matter it became difficult to do that. Hence the rule.

We ask for your cooperation and understanding.

I am locking this thread.


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New forum rule: No legal interpretations

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