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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why doesn't my agreement say [fill in the blank]?

I recently updated by iTunes software and saw the following warning:

"You also agree that you will not use these products for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design manufacture or production of missiles, or nuclear, chemical or biological weapons." (iTunes EULA: Section 10, Paragraph 8)

Apparently, Apple is worried I am going to use my newest edition of iTunes to manufacture my own MIRV's. (There's an app for THAT?!) I suppose it's possible to figure out a way to launch a first strike from an iPhone (it can do practically everything else), but the likelihood of me trying, or even wanting to is, as we say, de minimus.

A good lawyer will go to great lengths to make sure that his client is protected, but sometimes, we fail to distinguish between "what might possibly happen" and "what will probably happen". A good attorney should not try to insulate you from every abstract contingency; rather, he or she should assist you in identifying risks, then recommend the things you can do to minimize those risks without the need for cumbersome arrangements or worse, confusing and unenforceable agreements. Keeping a legal solution simple and straightforward does not mean leaving you exposed to risk, loss or harm - it means making sure you are protected and still able to improvise, adapt and overcome what life throws at you after your case is complete.

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