This is a question that comes from my job. I do a lot of redlining of vendors' contracts in my current job. There are certain things that are always unacceptable to our attorneys, so I get to read the lots of pages of 4 pt type to find all of those and mark them up. (It sounds boring but I actually like my job. )
A somewhat new thing kept appearing recently, particularly in contracts for Software as a Service. ("cloud")
I kept seeing clauses that required us to agree to follow all applicable laws (or some variation on that).
I finally asked our attorney about that, who told me to try to get that out of the contract. When I asked, "Why?" the answer was that if we're already violating some law, perhaps inadvertently, we don't want to also be in breach of contract at the same time for the same thing. (A circumstance when this might happen would be, for example, if one of our computers gets a virus that causes it to, unbeknownst to its user, try to break into other computers on the Internet to try to steal their data.)
I guess what I'm wondering is why a vendor would want to put that into the contract in the first place? Is the reason so that if some violation of some law is discovered the vendor can claim that its not the vendor's fault because it contractually obligated us not to do that?
I mean, aren't we required to follow the law without being contractually obligated to do so? Is this just "contract overkill" or is there a legitimate reason they all seem to want to put that kind of clause in their contracts?