Re: Call for OPW project ideas

On So, 2014-11-09 at 23:09 -0500, Karen Sandler wrote:
This is really mundane: I agreed to a more restrictive indemnification
than this by simply reading today. So has anybody who's ever
used Skype, or Flash, or Facebook. (Seriously, check the ToS of 
or CNN, the two I bothered to check; they're very similar and include
the provision about attorneys' fees.) Or the Internet, really; I'm
surprised I didn't have to agree to indemnify my ISP, though maybe that
was part of my contract and I just forgot. Anybody can sue anybody for
anything, and I highly doubt being an OPW mentor will increase the
likelihood of my ending up in court.

We very much tried to limit the contracts as much as possible, to figure 
out how to set up the infrastructure to host the program without unduly 
burdening the intern and mentor contracts only have indemnities 
triggered for "gross negligence, recklessness or intentional 
wrongdoing", as discussed in the previous thread (this is actually a 
pretty high bar). Not only do I think that this legal infrastructure is 
necessary in order for the Foundation to host the program, but some 
funders also require that it be in place.

The indemnification is something that I personally still find
irritating[1]. However as I understand now this seems to be pretty much
standard procedure in the US and unfortunately necessary. And I do see
that the one in these contracts is pretty limited.

What I am mostly wondering about right now is the "limitation of
liability" section. I kind of expected to see a provision to limit
liabilities between the intern and mentor, but this appears not to be
the case. There is no direct contract between these two parties, but I
simply do not know whether liabilities could still apply (as a result of
the contracts)[2].

That said, it probably is a lot easier for a US citizen to sign such a
contract. I am German, and I have very little idea about what I would be
getting myself into legally. Yup, the risks are *very* *low*, but I do
already find a slightly increased possibility of being pulled into a
lawsuit on US territory kind of scary.

I do believe you when you are saying that the contracts were designed
with a lot of care. It is just that I would be very reluctant to trust a
contract that is designed for and falls under a jurisdiction that I know
pretty much nothing about, and where it might be hard to defend myself


[1] I have don't remember seeing an indemnification (or even much of a
contract) when helping at events done by charitable organizations here
in germany. My guess is that it is simply not really necessary, though
it could also be that many organizations are not that careful.
[2] And if there might be liabilities, what jurisdiction would apply in
case either (or both) mentor and intern are not US citizens. I wouldn't
be surprised if there is no clear answer to this though.

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