Subject: Re: For Approval: Some License Or Another
From: "Michael R. Bernstein" <>
Date: Wed, 01 Dec 2004 19:32:31 -0800

On Tue, 2004-11-30 at 05:36, John Cowan wrote:
> Michael R. Bernstein scripsit:
> > > I do not believe that the legal profession has been able to contort
> > > the law to the point where individuals are unable to make binding
> > > agreements for themselves on their own terms.
> > 
> > This attempt a few years ago came closer than most:
> >
> That's a freedom of speech case, not a freedom of contract one.  There are
> many restrictions on the substantive freedom of contract (not to mention
> restrictions of form).  To take a few examples at random:

Your examples are well taken, but a sufficient restriction on speech
eventually does become a restriction on contracts.

This is analogous to how the DMCA makes it illegal to distribute the
tools that are necessary in order to excersize fair use.

If citizens have no access to the tools they need to use the law
(because providing those tools is illegal), I suppose they can still
lawfully type whatever pops into their head in a word-processor, but a
layman is hardly likely to produce an enforcable contract that way if
they have no guidance. At least, not one that isn't riddled with

Taken to it's logical conclusion, how does such a restriction on speech
*not* eventually restrict in a practical sense who may write and enter
into contracts on their own behalf?

Michael R. Bernstein <>