consists of a single sentence, an introduction and ten short clauses defining a minute subset of our legal vocabulary, words like person, officer, signature, oath, and last but not least, writing. This is necessary because sometimes a word’s legal meaning differs from its ordinary meaning. But changes in writing technology have rendered the Act’s definition of writing seriously out of date.
Of course no legal definition that fits into a single clause can hope to define writing, but at some point Congress needs to bring the Dictionary Act into the twenty-first century by dropping out the antique writing technologies and accommodating the newest ones. (Since the Dictionary Act defines the present as including the future, the new definition of writing won’t have to anticipate all the kinds of writing not yet invented.) But given the state of the economy and of the world, and the increasing political rancor at home, redefining writing is not a high legislative priority. So for now the Federal Code will continue to treat writing as the province of multigraphs, manifolds, typewriters, and mimeos. Perhaps by the time Congress gets around to revising Title 1, Chapter 1, Section 1, Facebook and Twitter will be long gone, the digital age will have given way to the next big thing, and writing itself may have become nothing more than an obsolete series of tubes.
Writer legal definition of writer - Legal Dictionary