Legal notices and other typical documentation requirements

Subject: Legal notices and other typical documentation requirements
From: INKtopia Admin <admin -at- inktopia -dot- net>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2013 15:58:57 -0500

// pushing this note to the Email list. It was an ongoing conversation on
the Forum before we had to revert back

Hello all,

I recently started with a new start-up company; it is so new that I am
building the documentation department.

In my past roles as a technical writer, I never needed to think much about
the legal sections of the documentation that I did not control. Now that I
am on my own, I need to think about these parts and determine what is
actually required.

The type of documentation that I am authoring is user (and other technical
documents) that accompany our hardware and software products (IT industry).
I don't know if it is dangerous but I am not following any particular ISO
framework, rather I am building documentation based on my own boiler plates
(and style guide) that I have refined over the years.

I believe 100% of my past documentation always included sections such as:
limitations and liabilities, references to other copyright and trademark
holders, GPL license and/or other software library information, etc.

Can anyone shed some light on those obligatory documentation components
that I should concern myself with, especially in regards to U.S. law
(although I am interested in insight about other countries too).

Thank you
New
Tagged:

- legal liabilities
copyright<http://community.techwhirl.com/discussions/tagged?Tag=legal+liabilities+copyright>

Flag<http://community.techwhirl.com/discussion/1037/legal-notices-and-other-typical-documentation-requirements>
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Comments

-
[image: RobertLauriston]<http://community.techwhirl.com/profile/3032/RobertLauriston>
RobertLauriston<http://community.techwhirl.com/profile/3032/RobertLauriston>
Posts: *3*
October 8<http://community.techwhirl.com/discussion/comment/569/#Comment_569>
via Email67.23.1.5<http://community.techwhirl.com/user/browse?keywords=67.23.1.5>
For software, that stuff comes from the lawyers, except for
open-source software licenses, which come with the code and need to be
exposed or referenced in some way approved by the lawyers.

Does your company manufacture hardware or just load software on
servers / routers / whatever purchased from another company?

On Tue, Oct 8, 2013 at 8:18 AM, ShawnConnelly
Flag<http://community.techwhirl.com/discussion/1037/legal-notices-and-other-typical-documentation-requirements>
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-
[image: ShawnConnelly]<http://community.techwhirl.com/profile/3077/ShawnConnelly>
ShawnConnelly <http://community.techwhirl.com/profile/3077/ShawnConnelly>
Posts: *9* â
October 8<http://community.techwhirl.com/discussion/comment/570/#Comment_570>
24.85.224.3<http://community.techwhirl.com/user/browse?keywords=24.85.224.3>
Hello Robert,

Thanks for your response.

>For software, that stuff comes from the lawyers

I fully understand that, however, but my team is asking for my advice on
putting together the necessary text in order to pass on to our corporate
lawyer. This is what I am researching this week.

>Does your company manufacture hardware or just load software on servers
/ routers / whatever purchased from another company?

We use off-the-shelf commodity hardware that is branded/packaged with
our name... but we have substantial IP in the proprietary software embedded
in the hardware.

Thank you
Flag<http://community.techwhirl.com/discussion/1037/legal-notices-and-other-typical-documentation-requirements>
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-
[image: ShawnConnelly]<http://community.techwhirl.com/profile/3077/ShawnConnelly>
ShawnConnelly <http://community.techwhirl.com/profile/3077/ShawnConnelly>
Posts: *9* â
3:41PM<http://community.techwhirl.com/discussion/comment/577/#Comment_577>
24.85.224.3<http://community.techwhirl.com/user/browse?keywords=24.85.224.3>
Hmm... no comments.

I also noticed that my original post did not reach the mail list.

Well, hopefully this post will make it.

To expand on my op, I was wondering about legal requirements (or general
rules) around listing trademarks and copyrights. Meaning, throughout my
documentation, I mention 3rd party companies. In my past roles as a
technical writer, these situations were handled very differently; from
ignoring trademarks to placing the symbol next to their names, to listing
all trademarks and copyrights on an end page.

Do you have any thoughts or can you list actual rules about this issue?

- See more at:
http://community.techwhirl.com/discussion/1037/legal-notices-and-other-typical-documentation-requirements#latest


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