for sale etiquette?

From: der Mouse <mouse_at_Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
Date: Wed May 26 11:34:32 2004

>>> 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".
>> This is why legal systems include rules governing jurisdiction.
>> Your T&C attempt to brush aside those rules, which evolved for very
>> good reason; I consider that unacceptable.
> YANAL (You Are Not A Lawyer) so stop trying to act like one.

You don't know whether I'm a lawyer, only that I haven't said I am.
(As it happens, I'm not.)

I don't think you are either, "so stop trying to act like one". You
doubtless have had legal advice over much of this; I too have, as it
happens, consulted lawyers over some of the stuff I brought up.

> Look, we're not going to go around drafting personal editions of the
> T&C for each user that objects to one thing or another. Either you
> use the VCM or not.

Of course. I don't expect you to do an individual version for me. If
you agreed with my points, you'd change your T&C for everyone, and you
would have already done so.

The point this fragment spun off from is part of answering the question
of why I don't/won't use the VCM, which is after all where this whole
thread started.

> So you're saying if someone needs to sue you because you never sent
> them what they paid you for, they can put down "der Mouse" as the
> defendant?

In a common-law jurisdiction, yes, I suspect they could, especially
when the matter in question bore principally on my electronic identity.
As far as I know that's never been tested, though I suspect (again,
only "suspect") that not excessively dissimilar things have been done
with other people involved.

> No, I'm not sliding from one thing to another. I'm pointing out the
> reality of the matter. Using an alias is hiding your identity.

Certainly. That's why I refuse to use my muggle identity when dealing
online, because there, it _is_ an alias, and _would_ be hiding my

> When I sent you that box of hardware, why did you give me your real
> name? Can't Fedex deliver boxes to "der Mouse"?

Well, aside from the question-begging inherent in your calling it my
"real name"-- I did it partly because FedEx is not an online entity (in
this respect, ie, in the interaction between them and me that this
would provoke) and thus the best name for me _for them_ is the one
you're calling my "real name". (Even with that, I think you don't have
my "real name", only another of my "alias"es, though you can probably
infer my "real name" from it.) I did it partly because I expected you
to be uncomfortable with asking FedEx to deliver to Mouse. I did it
partly because I expected them to be uncomfortable with it too. I did
it partly because I expected it to smooth things over at Customs
clearance. All of these added up to enough to overcome my inherent
resistance to crossing identities between personas.

I don't like mixing the two identities, but to some degree it becomes
inevitable when mixing worlds - as when schlepping computer hardware
around, especially across international borders.

>>>> - They require you to agree to California legal jurisdiction
>>> Standard.
>> To whom?
> To whom? The entire world-wide business community.

So if I buy a GM car and GM has cause to sue me over it, they'll file
in Michigan rather than Quebec? (Or wherever their head office is -
I'm assuming Detroit.)

>>>> - It requires that I use my full legal name.
>>> My Pendantic-O-Meter is pinned. You admit that it's the name you
>>> use "in computer circles", so by your own words it is therefore a
>>> nickname.
>> And in banking circles, I use a different name. Is it therefore a
>> nickname too?
> How come your bank doesn't cancel your accounts for fraudulently
> using a nickname on your bank account when you opened your account
> and signed the form averring that 0everything you filled in was true
> and correct? By your own logic then that should be the inevitable
> outcome.

Because everything I filled in _was_ true and correct. ("different
name" here meant "different from the name under discussion", ie, from
the Mouse name.)

I was pointing out that "in computer circles" in no way inherently
indicates that the name referred to is a "nickname", by drawing an
analogy. Perhaps this was too obscure a way of pointing it out.

I also use the Mouse identity in other, noncomputer, circles; "in
computer circles" does not mean "in, and only in, computer circles".

> Why do you waste so much time quibbling over VCM terms & conditions
> when much more important battles are to be won against the bank? Is
> it because you know the bank would not give you an account if you
> tried to argue over their T&C?

No; it's because Quebec is a civil-code jurisdiction, and the naming
laws in effect here require that one have exactly one legal name - and
for individual accounts, there are sound reasons (such as reporting
interest to Revenue Canada Taxation or whatever they call themselves
this week) for requiring my legal name on the account. If I had gone
to the trouble to change my name legally, yes, I would expect them to
accept it. Even now, I may well be able to get an account in the Mouse
name, as long as I give them my legal name for their records; I haven't
tried, because that's not a sphere in which it's especially important
to me to use the Mouse identity.

It is rather arrogant of you to tell me that the "battle" "against" the
bank is more important than "quibbling" over the VCM's T&C; it is not
for you to tell me what's more important to me than what else, and I
disagree with it in so many other ways that if I try to deal with them
all this message will be twice the size it is already. (I'll be happy
to do so, offlist, with anyone who's interested.)

>>> and frankly having to argue this point with you is tedious.
>> You don't have to argue it. In fact, I see little point; [...]
> Yes, we do have to argue it, because if we don't then your (at this
> point worthless) criticisms going unanswered would be misleading.

Very well, then, perhaps it would be fairer to say that you don't have
to continue to argue it? I think at this point it's clear (painfully
clear, even) to any bystander that we disagree fairly fundamentally and
neither of us is likely to change the other's mind.

Since you imply you're responding only for the sake of third parties'
opinions, I'm perfectly willing to attach a note, next time, about how
it's all been hashed out before, to keep the same foofooraw from
blowing up - care to suggest a wording? (I don't, of course, know for
sure there will be a next time, but it seems likely.)

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Received on Wed May 26 2004 - 11:34:32 BST

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