Reply-To: "Kevin Aylward"
From: "Kevin Aylward"
References: <3D78DCBD.8040105@BOGUS.earthlink.net> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <3D79F56B.E095CBB1@webaccess.net>
Subject: Re: Publishing engineering techniques?
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Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2002 18:33:50 +0100
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sat, 07 Sep 2002 18:33:51 BST
"Chuck Simmons" wrote in message
> John Woodgate wrote:
> > I read in sci.electronics.design that Frank Bemelman
> > wrote (in
> > .euronet.nl>) about 'Publishing engineering techniques?', on Fri, 6
> > 2002:
> > >Regulations required I had to sign a contract anyway, so we agreed
> > >they send me a contract for "0" Euro.
> > Under English law, that probably wouldn't be a contract; there has
> > a 'consideration', usually a payment of some sort. The contract
> > have been written with 1 Euro as the consideration (1 Euro-cent
> > not be enough). I believe US law is similar.
> Apparently not.
> All sorts of contracts have no exchange of tangible
Nope. If no exchange of value, you don't have a contract. Its that
>NDA's and other performance agreements not involving money come
> to mind.
Consideration does not have to be for money. Any exchange of value is
usually acceptable. "Information" has been well recognised to have
value, so giving information in exchange for secrecy is clearly an
exchange of value. There is certainly value in secrecy. Although the
courts have difficulty is determine how much secrecy is worth, they
still do it.
> More blatant was the faculty contract of a professor I knew at
> a major US university. His contract stated that he was appointed full
> professor of physics for some achedemic year at a salary of $0.00 per
> month "contingent upon availability of funds."
If the contract essentially said you can have this job in return for
nought, it would not be a legal contract. It would be a worthless
>It is customary for bills
> of sale of tangible assets to mention money with a wording like "for
> sum of one dollar and other valuable considerations." In the case of
> article for a magazine, it is not at all clear that there is any
> transfer of a tangible asset.
Err.. You should actually have a little read of a US Law book, e.g. the
CA civil code for example, explains in detail what is required for a
legally enforceable contract.
A contract *must* indeed have consideration to be enforceable. A
promise, i.e. I'll cut you lawn for you, is not enforceable, except for
some specific circumstances where you incur a loss as a result of such
promise. Note, a contract does not, in general have to be in writing.
However, some contracts by statute, must be in writing, e.g. contacts
concerning real estate.
The reason for the nominal sum is *precisely* to turn a promise into an
exchange of value contract. The law, in general does not require that
the exchange be equitable, or fair, so long as there is no duress.
As a note, it explicitly specifies in the CA civil code that any
situation that has not got a specific CA statute or CA precedent, is to
be determined by English common law.
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