[thelist] Re: checked vs. unchecked boxes

Eike Pierstorff eike.pierstorff at dynamique.de
Tue Oct 26 09:02:07 CDT 2004

I did not realize that I actually did send this mail ;-)

Greg Holmes schrieb:
> What a charming, utopian idea (and I mean that
> sincerely).  Does it also specify in minute detail
> what the text accompanying check boxes must be?

No. In no case a Law describes anything in minute Detail.
It's really some sort of guideline; how it's actually applied to a given 
situation depends more on the judges and lawyers (and since there is no 
precendent [1] in Germany you never know what's legal before you get a 
court sentence).

We have a a lot of charming, utopian laws, since neither legislators nor 
judges seem to know a lot about the Internet or computers in general.
For example, software is technically illegal[2] if it a) fails to be 
self-explanatory b) produces error messages that cannot be understood by 
laymen c) allows user-actions that cannot be undone. This law is largely 
ignored ;-)

> [ ] Make my email address public in the paper
>     membership roster which is only distributed
>     to members
> -or-
> [ ] Make my email address private; do not
>     include in the printed membership roster
> German law would require either version to be
> unchecked by default?

German law would require you to keep the email adress private unless the 
user allows you to make it public, either by specifically permitting it 
or possibly by agreeing to terms of service which say that adresses will 
be published.

> Do I actually need to restate that nobody (nobody
> here, anyway) is defending deceptive practices?

No. Like I said, I've sent this mail by accident. But it still might be 
useful to know that there are legal pitfalls if you ever work on a 
german web site.

-- eike

[1] I'm not sure if this is the right word. What I mean is that judges 
can (within the limits of the law) decide what they want, regardless of 
what other judges decided in similar cases.
[2] This is actually a part of the 
"Bildschirmarbeitsplatzschutzverordnung". A "Bildschirmarbeitsplatz" is 
defined as a working place that requires you to spend more than two 
hours per day working with a computer. "Schutzverordnung" is, I think, a 
"protection act" (for employees). It basically says that workplaces have 
to fulfill certain ergonomic standards (which is a good thing), but some 
parts of it are nonsense QED.

eike.pierstorff at dynamique.de
0179 133 60 44

"Führe mich nicht in Versuchung. Ich finde den Weg selber."

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