Disclaimer

I. Reliance on information provided from this website and linked sites
II. Computer Viruses
III. Pornography and Other Objectionable Material
IV. "Spam"
V. Downloading of Computer Software
VI. Downloading of Typographic Fonts
VII. Privacy and Security
VIII. "Cookies"
IX. On-Line Shopping
X. Copyright Notice
 


I. Reliance on information provided from this website and linked sites.

This website is intended to assist duly qualified legal practitioners in researching legal problems, and for legal academics and students undertaking research for educational purposes.

Whilst non-lawyers are welcome to visit and utilize this site, it must be understood that information published for the benefit of legal professionals can be confusing for people who do not have legal training. Reliance on information contained on this site or linked sites is no substitute for obtaining advice from a qualified legal practitioner.

Information available from the Internet varies in quality. Whilst attempts have been made to provide links only to sites which appear to be authoritative and reliable, it would be impossible to ensure that all linked sites meet - and continue to meet - these criteria.

As a service to members of the legal profession, legal academics and law students, this site offers access to a variety of Internet resources which may be of use to them. The Internet is growing at such a fast rate that it is impossible to ensure that all links are current, or that the links provided from this site are comprehensive.

No warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of  information contained on this site or linked sites, and no responsibility is accepted for the consequences of any person's reliance on such information.
 


II. Computer Viruses.

People using the Internet should be aware that it is possible for their computers to be infected with malicious programmes and codes (commonly known as "viruses") as a result of downloading a programme, receiving an email, and other on-line activities. These viruses can destroy data stored on the affected computer, cause the computer to malfunction, and result in other forms of damage.

The risks can be reduced, but not entirely eliminated, by using a reputable virus protection programme, and by ensuring that the programme remains up-to-date.

Whilst attempts have been made to ensure that viruses cannot be contracted from this website or linked sites, and whilst it is believed that the risks involved are negligible, the possibility cannot be entirely excluded.

No warranty is given that this website or linked sites are free of computer viruses, and no responsibility is accepted for the consequences if any person's computer is infected with a virus or other malicious computer programme or code, as a result of using this website or linked sites.
 


III. Pornography and Other Objectionable Material.

People using the Internet should be aware that many sites on the Internet contain pornographic and other offensive material.

The risks of inadvertently accessing such a site can be reduced, but not entirely eliminated, by using a reputable programme which prevents or restricts access to pornographic and other offensive sites.

Whilst attempts have been made to ensure that linked sites do not contain pornographic or other offensive material (save where a clear warning is given to this effect), the possibility cannot be entirely excluded.

The operators of some pornographic sites - along with other sites containing unwanted commercial material, such as on-line gaming sites - have been known to engage in the practice of "domain squatting", which involves the acquisition of a discontinued Internet domain, and using it to redirect Internet traffic to their own website. This can occur without warning, and can lead to embarrassment. An example may be seen at www.blackstoneandcoke.com - this used to be the domain of a reputable seller of antiquarian legal books based in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, and a link to this domain was provided in Lex Scripta accordingly; it now contains material of a very different character altogether.

No warranty is given that linked sites are free of pornographic or other offensive material, and no responsibility is accepted in respect of such matters.
 


IV. "Spam"

People using the Internet should be aware that, as a result of using on-line services, it is possible to become the recipient of unsolicited email messages and other advertising material (commonly known as "spam"), including material promoting pornographic and other offensive materials and services.

This risk can be reduced, but not entirely eliminated, by ensuring that your email address is not disclosed:

  • In any public forum (such as a "bulletin board" or Usenet newsgroup); or
     
  • To any person or organization which is not known to be reputable; or
     
  • To, or in connection with, any website which does not display a comprehensive privacy policy.

Whilst attempts have been made to ensure that linked sites are not involved in the dissemination of "spam", this possibility cannot be entirely excluded.

No warranty is given that use of linked sites will not result in the receipt of unsolicited email messages and other advertising material, and no responsibility is accepted in respect of such matters.
 


V. Downloading of Computer Software.

Downloadable software come in three kinds:

  1. Freeware, which is entirely free of charge;
  2. Shareware, for which a fee is payable after a specified trial period; and
  3. Commercial software, which must be paid for.

Traditionally, "shareware" has worked on an honesty system: if you like the software, and continue to use it after the trial period has expired, you are expected to pay for it. Of course, many people don't. So, nowadays, trial versions of software often come with an in-built monitor, which determines when the trial period has expired. Sometimes, this results in nothing more than a pesky reminder which pops up on your screen whenever you use the programme - this is known as "nagware". More commonly, however, shareware programmes are being designed to cease functioning when the trial period has expired.  A discussion of the copyright and other legal ramifications of using "shareware" may be found in the judgment of Heerey J. in Trumpet Software Pty Ltd & Anor v OzEmail Pty Ltd & Ors, [1996] 560  FCA 1, available on-line through AustLII.

Warning. The easiest way to contract a computer virus is by downloading and installing software. Whilst absolute protection can never be guaranteed, the risk of contracting a computer virus is minimized by:
(a) only downloading software from reputable sites; and

(b) using an up-to-date virus protection programme.
 


VI. Downloading of Typographic Fonts.

A large range of typographic fonts can be downloaded from Internet sites.  Depending on the operating system for your computer, these can be used for word-processing documents, to create a special effect, or to give your printed work a personal flavour. The following points should, however, be noted:

  1. Not all fonts are compatible with all operating systems. Windows can use either "TrueType" (TT) fonts or "PostScript" fonts. Other operating systems may only be able to use one or the other. Check, before trying to use any downloaded font.
     
  2. There is a limit to the number of fonts which you can install on Windows. If you reach the limit (which depends on the operating system you are using), try uninstalling some of the fonts which you never use - like the Japanese, Arabic, Greek and Russian fonts which come pre-packed in your Windows programme.
     
  3. Although the risks of contracting a computer virus from downloading fonts are much less than
    with downloading software programmes, take the following precautions to minimize the risk of any catastrophes:
    • only download software (including typographic fonts) from reputable sites; and
    • use an up-to-date virus protection programme.
       


VII. Privacy and Security

People using the Internet should be aware of potential privacy and security implications, including the following:

  1. Email and other Internet communications are not secure from interception. Whilst the risk of malicious interception is remote, it is a possibility. The risk can be largely excluded by utilising an encryption programme like "Pretty Good Privacy" ("PGP"), available as freeware from The International PGP Home Page.
     
  2. Documents and images which have been stored on your computer's hard drive may be recoverable, even though they have been deleted. The risk can be largely excluded by utilising a programme to eliminate all residual traces of such a document or image. One good programme is "Eraser", available as freeware from the website of the programme's developer, Sami Tolvanen, a graduate student from Finland, here.
     


VIII.
"Cookies"

Many websites utilise small computer scripts, lodged on the visitor's computer, to record information relevant to the visitor's use of the site. These scripts are known as "cookies".

The majority of cookies serve a useful purpose, and are largely or entirely benign. For example, many Internet shopping sites use cookies to create a "shopping cart" listing the items which the visitor has chosen for purchase. Such cookies may perform other functions, which the visitor may or may not find useful - e.g., to offer suggestions for additional items which the visitor might like to purchase. Internet banking sites could not function without the use of cookies; nor could on-line auction sites; nor could "chat rooms".

However, cookies may also be used for less attractive purposes - to redirect your computer's browser to another site; to send personal information to the host site (e.g. your name, address and email address); even to monitor the websites which you visit, and report this information back to the host site. The most intrusive forms of cookies are known as "spyware".

One solution to this problem is to change the settings on your computer's browser so as to exclude all cookies. But this prevents your fully utilising sites which employ cookies for legitimate purposes - such as Internet banking, shopping, auction and "chat room" sites.

Some browsers allow you to exercise a degree of control in deciding which cookies are permitted, and which are not. This solution also has its problems - problems such as "false positives" (identifying a cookie as undesirable, when it is not) and "false negatives" (failing to identify a cookie as undesirable, when it is). Depending on the settings which you select, you may also find that your browser regularly asks you choose whether or not to accept a particular cookie, but without providing you with the information necessary to make an informed choice.

A better solution is to use software to monitor your computer, and periodically delete any cookies or other scripts which are identified as "spyware" or otherwise undesirable. One such programme is "Pest Patrol", available as freeware here.
 


IX.
On-Line Shopping

Internet shopping offers many advantages - the convenience of being able to shop from your home or office computer; a larger range of products that might be available locally; the opportunity to find the cheapest price from a range of suppliers; and the possibility of purchasing a product from an overseas supplier which is not available in Australia (or which is available only at a much higher price). These advantages are available in the form of both on-line shops and on-line auctions. Some recommended shopping sites are listed on Lex Scripta: go to Other Useful Links and select "shopping".

There are, however, some risks involved with on-line shopping:

  • There is, first, the risk of being defrauded - either through non-supply of goods which you have paid for, or through goods not being of the same standard or quality as you expected. These risks can be minimised by dealing only with reputable firms, and especially firms which have a "bricks and mortar" establishment as well as a "virtual" establishment. Alternatively, some on-line auction sites have an "escrow" facility, whereby you can pay money to the site, pending confirmation that goods have been received, and your funds are only released once such confirmation is given.
     
  • Secondly, there are security risks, especially if you make payment on-line using a credit card or electronic funds transfer. You should be especially careful when transmitting credit card details. A secure website is distinguished by a URL commencing with the letters "https://" (rather than the usual "http://") - such sites are regarded as fairly safe. Otherwise, it is preferable to send credit card details by fax rather than email, or to send two separate emails with some of the digits contained in the first email and the remainder in a separate email. Another option is to use an on-line payment service, such as PayPal, which offers particular security features.
     
  • Thirdly, you should be alert to the possibility that electronic products bought from overseas may not work in Australia. Different countries have different mains current electricity voltages - for example, 240 volts is Australia, as compared with 110 volts in the United States - and different plug configurations. VHS tapes purchased from overseas will not work in Australia, unless they have been recorded using the "PAL" system. DVDs bought from overseas will not work in Australia, unless they are configured to "Region 4", or unless your DVD player is configured to play DVDs from all zones/regions.
     


X
. Copyright Notice.

The compilation of information and custom graphics contained on this website are copyright.

Webmasters of other websites are welcome to link to Lex Scripta, and to use custom graphics for that purpose. The applicable conditions are set out here.

Part of the copyright material contained on this website includes a compilation of email addresses for barristers, solicitors and legal professional organizations. I have licensed (and do hereby license) the use of this information by:

  1. Duly qualified barristers and solicitors admitted to practise in the State of Queensland or elsewhere in Australia; and
  2. Persons having lawful reasons to communicate with listed email addressees;

PROVIDED THAT THE INFORMATION ON THIS SITE IS NOT TO BE USED FOR THE PURPOSES OF:

  1. Compiling a mailing list; or
  2. Sending unsolicited or bulk email; or
  3. Publishing (whether on the Internet or elsewhere) the names and/or email addresses listed on this website; or
  4. Advertising or promoting any product or service of any description whatsoever.

Included on this site are a number of fake email addresses, which are not used for any other purpose, and which are not disclosed anywhere else on the Internet. Reproduction of or bulk email sent to these fake addresses will  be clear proof that the sender has breached copyright.

Be advised that any instances of this will result in action for breach of copyright,
INCLUDING (WHERE AVAILABLE) CLAIMS FOR EXEMPLARY, AGGRAVATED OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES.
 

copyright  1998-2005
all rights reserved
Anthony John Hunter Morris QC
Level 13, 239 George Street

Brisbane, Queensland
Australia
4000
t
elephone: +61 7 3229 0267
f
acsimile: +61 7 3221 6715
editor@lexscripta.com


this page last updated 02 February 2004