Apr. 4th, 2017

shadowkat: (Default)
So, uhm, update on the LJ situation. I did a little research during lunch at work. One of my co-workers is a) Russian, and b) has an old LJ account. Also he's up on the news in Russia.

According to my co-worker LJ has been having issues with a lot of lawsuits concerning people illegally sharing other people's posts, without credit. Mainly politically sensitive posts. Nothing has come of them, but it's been an issue. He says with all the bribes and corruption in the court system, the lawsuits don't really go anywhere. He said that unless you were writing a lot of political posts or Russian posts, not to worry about it. He doesn't use his lj account.

I also googled the law on contracts in foreign languages, and discovered that yes, they are legal and stand up in a court of law. As long as the contract states which language version is the valid one. If it's silent, than not valid.
Actually found a legal comment thread that I found rather amusing due to all the disclaimers, that yes, a contract that is in a foreign language other than English can stand up in a US court and if the agreement is based in the other country, that country's law governs. Way back in the day, I negotiated rights contracts with Chinese, French, German, and Russian journal publishers, who sent me translations of my contract in their language. I'd have to translate it. If it fit my contract's language -- then I'd sign with the caveat that the English version governed, since the contract's jurisdiction was the US.

That's why they state the Russian version is the legal one. However in talking to my co-worker, he said there weren't really any differences between the two. And the items that were concerning me, weren't really an issue unless I was living in Russia or the countries near and around Russia.

So...there you have it.

But...should I sign that user agreement? I don't want to. The legal professional in me is balking.

The problem is -- if I don't sign, I have little more than "lurking" privileges. I can read LJ, as long as I'm not logged in. The only way I can post and cross-post, not to mention manage my content and reply to comments is if I sign the user agreement. BTW, I can't even delete the journal or change anything in it. I've no access, except as a lurker. [ETA: You can comment under Open ID over there, just like you can here. So...you can still play on LJ, just don't log into it, and do it as an outsider.]

It's very hard for me as a contracts legal professional to sign an agreement that is in another language. When I was rights manager and had to deal with foreign contracts, I got them fully translated and ensured the clauses were the same. That said, I think my co-worker is right about this and we really have nothing to worry about. LJ is probably about as safe as DW or any other social media or journal outlet.

So again, what do you think?

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