for sale etiquette?

From: Vintage Computer Festival <>
Date: Tue May 25 18:13:12 2004

On Tue, 25 May 2004, der Mouse wrote:

> Speaking personally?
> - They require you to agree to California legal jurisdiction
> (unreasonable for individuals living non-near California, outrageous
> for individuals living outside the USA) and binding arbitrarion, with
> no right of recourse beyond that arbitrator.

As I've explained before, you have to be a real fuck up for this to even
come into play. If we are ever in a situation where legal action is
required, we would be stupid to not make it easy for ourselves to sue an
offending party. This is standard in business. I don't know any business
that would say "if we sue you, we'll do you a favor and sue in your
jurisdiction to make things easy for you".

I don't ever expect (or at least I hope never) to have to sue anyone (or
enter arbitration) over something that happens on the VCM.

It's all fine and dandy when you're doing trading on a hobbyist basis but
Patrick and I have opened ourselves up to some level of risk by hosting
this service for public consumption, and we are covering our ass. I'm
not going to apologize for that, nor are we going to waver on it.

> - They require that the site be accessed via Web browsers only
> (unacceptable to me, as I want to fetch pictures).

As long as you aren't scraping our site and causing problems with our
server then I don't think you'll hear any fuss from us. Again, this is to
cover our ass against any potential assholes out there who would make our
lives difficult.

> - It requires that I use my full legal name. I don't even know what
> that _is_ by California law, and unless California law would let me
> use "der Mouse" (which it may, I've heard that in many jurisdictions
> a name you use long enough and consistently enough with no fraudulent
> intent becomes a legal name for you) it would be unacceptable, as
> that is the only name by which I am known in computer circles. Even
> if California law _would_ let me use "der Mouse" I would expect to
> have to fight for it, and I'm not willing to go to that much effort.

I think this is splitting hairs. What's on your birth certificate? Or
your driver's license? Or your passport? That is what you should use.
We didn't think it would be necessary to spell this all out since "full
legal name" is pretty basic.

Why do we require this? To make sure all users are dealing in an open and
honest manner. If we allowed aliases then fraud could ensue. If you want
to sell under an alias then use the Usenet or some other mechanism that
allows you to hide your identity for whatever reasons you deem necessary,
and you assume whatever risk comes along with that mechanism. The VCM is
intended to be a safe trading community for the vintage computing hobby
and this is one step to ensure that. To expect otherwise is being

> - I may not engage in "activities that may adversely affect the
> performance or stability of the Site". If I may not do anything that
> risks crashing it accidentally, I can't even _touch_ it!

This is also disingenuous. What would you like to do that you think risks
crashing it accidentally? If you mean launching a DOS attack, or scraping
huge volumes of data off the site (another form of DOS), then no, we don't
want you doing that.

Also, nothing in that clause refers to "accidental" activities. The
system is pretty solid by now, but if an error does occur, it gets trapped
and we're notified. If you make it your life's focus to try to crash our
system then we're going to have a problem with that.

This is all pretty basic.

> - I am (well, would be) liable for my own acts and omissions, but the
> VCM isn't: "To the fullest extent permitted by law, the foregoing
> indemnities will apply regardless of any fault, omission, negligence,
> or breach of warranty or contract of the Operators of the Site or
> their suppliers, vendors, and assigns". Sorry; responsibility is a
> two-way street.

Not when we're offering this service for free. Would you also like that
we turn on the TV and bring your milk and cookies to you on the sofa?

Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger      
[ Old computing resources for business || Buy/Sell/Trade Vintage Computers   ]
[ and academia at  || at  ]
Received on Tue May 25 2004 - 18:13:12 BST

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