Digital signature -- as good as a real one?


K

Kamran

I know we can apply digital signatures to Word docs, but it says in the
dialog box that these may not be legally binding. Is there any way to apply
a digital signature so that it is legally binding? My company wants to
create a form for software user licenses that they can digitally sign and
send by e-mail instead of the usual print, sign, send by snail-mail.

Thanks in advance.
 
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J

Jay Freedman

Kamran said:
I know we can apply digital signatures to Word docs, but it says in
the dialog box that these may not be legally binding. Is there any
way to apply a digital signature so that it is legally binding? My
company wants to create a form for software user licenses that they
can digitally sign and send by e-mail instead of the usual print,
sign, send by snail-mail.

Thanks in advance.

The problem isn't with the signatures, it's with the laws (plural). If the
license contract is governed by the law of a specific location that
explicitly recognizes electronic signatures as binding, then it's binding.
If the governing law doesn't recognize such signatures (or, more likely, has
not been amended since electronic signatures became possible), then it
depends on how good your lawyer is. If your firm deals internationally, you
can multiply the problem about 100-fold.

As always in such cases, consult an attorney who is familiar with such
issues; don't depend on the opinions expressed here.

--
Regards,
Jay Freedman
Microsoft Word MVP
Email cannot be acknowledged; please post all follow-ups to the newsgroup so
all may benefit.
 
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