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/dev/lawyer

>> law, technology, and the space between

All content by Kyle E. Mitchell, who is not your lawyer.

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  1. Schools of Cohesion

    exploring the crosswise policy biases we learn from open software

    • Business Models
    • Open Source
    • Policy
  2. Prone Blogging Setup

    how to type when the pain puts you on your back

  3. Tyranny of Permissionlessness

    open source’s narrow focus further empowers those with other ways to exclude

    • Licensing
    • Open Source
  4. Don’t Rely on OSI Approval

    activist approval does not track practical needs

    • Open Source
    • Open Source Initiative
    • Licensing
  5. AFL-3.0 versus OSL-3.0

    a redline (diff) with important network terms highlighted

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Drafting
  6. The Waypoint NDA

    stop wasting time on NDAs

    • Contracts
    • Nondisclosure Agreement
    • Standards
  7. #wontfix

    endorsements can’t fix the Open Source Definition

    • Open Source
    • Free Software
    • Licensing
  8. Calls to Sustainability Action via package.json

    a new proposal, schema, and tools

    • Open Source
    • Sustainability
  9. Enterprise Ready Open Software License Supplement

    the status quo, plus money for devs

    • Business Models
    • Forms
    • Licensing
    • Open Source
  10. Stairway to Heaven

    repairing broken steps to software license Nirvana

    • Licensing
    • Business Planning
    • Open Source
  11. The Diachronic Treadmill License

    automatically reward supporters with copyleft exceptions

    • Sketches
    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  12. License Utopia

    just four licenses for all of open source

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Copyleft
  13. Ethical Subcommons Starter Kit

    bringing openness to software of moral concern

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Ethics
  14. Weak or Strong is Wrong

    towards selective or consistent copyleft

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Copyleft
  15. Deprecation Notice: MIT and BSD

    it’s time to retire thirty-year-old academic licenses

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Intellectual Property
  16. Blue Oak Council

    opening the software commons to everyone

    • Nonprofits
    • Intellectual Property
    • Licensing
  17. Back to IP

    the copyright giant has a policy

    • Open Source
    • Intellectual Property
    • Sustainability
  18. Indie Open Source

    developing resource for indie-ready business models

    • Open Source
    • Business Models
    • Forms
    • Licenses
  19. Open Source Software License Reading List

    a comprehensive curriculum for new license wonks

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Reading
    • Teaching
  20. First Thoughts on the Redis Source Available License Agreement

    evident demand for license rules on API boundaries

    • Licensing
    • Open Source
    • Copyleft
    • Open Core
  21. API Copyleft License 1.0.0

    first release of API-boundary copyleft form

    • Copyleft
    • Licensing
    • Open Source
  22. API Copyleft

    functionality, interfaces, and line drawing in a new copyleft paradigm

    • Copyleft
    • Licensing
    • Open Source
    • SSPL
  23. Critique This License

    developing a standard paid-software license

    • Contracts
    • Forms
    • Software
  24. Shared Component License

    first shot at a short, plain license in the vein of Mongo’s SSPL

    • Copyleft
    • Licensing
    • Open Source
    • SSPL
  25. Outer Source

    open software by closed methods

    • Copyleft
    • Development Methodology
    • Open Source
    • Software Freedom
  26. The Discipline of Stated Purpose

    write out the purposes of legal terms in contracts

    • Drafting
    • Contracts
    • License
  27. Availability Dashboard

    professional availability now online

  28. Apache-2.0 versus ECL-2.0

    a redline (diff) showing substantive changes

    • Open Source
    • Licenses
  29. Open Source is Not About You

    a minimal, functionalist view of open source

    • Governance
    • Licensing
    • Open Source
  30. Open Handicaps

    Did permissive used to advantage open work like copyleft does today?

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Copyleft
    • Sustainability
  31. Selective Openness

    making money by choosing what to give away

    • Business Models
    • Licensing
    • Open Source
    • SSPL
  32. The Open Source Definition as Copyleft Regulation

    an in-depth review of commonly cited criteria

    • SSPL
    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Copyleft
  33. The Copyleft Bust Up

    loopholes, licenses, and realpolitik in open source

    • SSPL
    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Copyleft
  34. How to Speak Copyleft

    the missing vocabulary of copyleft design

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Copyleft
    • SSPL
  35. Elsewhere: Mapping Open Business Models

    crosspost from the License Zero blog

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Funding
  36. Seeking Comment: Copyright Notice Recommendation

    first stab at a pragmatic best-practice guide

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  37. A Canting Tribe Are We

    attacking the NDA problem with standards networks

    • Contracts
    • RxNDA
    • Canting Tribe
    • Standardization
  38. Indirect Licensing

    dispensing software licenses in the Internet era

    • Killjoy
    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  39. Contributor Councils

    relicensing without foundation, BDFL, or unanimity

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Governance
  40. Motorcycles in the Wind

    do not do or die

    • Motorcycles
  41. Patents for Software Freedom

    gun-shy insurgents and the heavy weapons of IP law

    • Killjoy
    • Open Source
    • Patent
    • Software Freedom
  42. Bilking Angels

    celestial finance for earth-bound developers

    • Killjoy
    • Open Source
    • Funding
  43. Crowd Hiring

    assurance contracts for short-term open software maintenance

    • Open Source
    • Legal Technology
    • Contracts
  44. Quick Read of Tidelift’s Lifting Agreement

    nits picked in the developer terms for a new pay-the-devs company

    • Open Source
    • Contracts
    • Intellectual Property
  45. Private Changes in Free Software Copyleft Licenses

    Where’s the fifth freedom?

    • Open Source
    • Free Software
    • Licenses
  46. Enforce Open Source Licenses with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

    takedown power for DIY developers

    • Killjoy
    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • DMCA
  47. Unhappy Coincidences

    marriages of licensing convenience, and changed circumstances

    • Open Source
    • Licenses
    • Drafting
  48. Selective Mythology

    defining open source for fun and profit, in the shadow of the enterprise

    • Open Source
    • Procurement
  49. Attending LegalHackers Summit

  50. The Decentralization Game

    tips for values-forward reformers

  51. The Posterity Public License

    a strong-attribution open source license

    • Open Source
    • Licenses
  52. Interviewed on Open Source and Money

    TechCrunch article on problems and solutions

  53. Digging Contracts Out of the Hole

    simple tools for drafting to be proud of

    • Common Form
    • Contracts
    • Law
  54. California Work Made for Hire Statutes

    work made for hire contracts can make contractors employees for state employment insurance purposes

    • Law
    • California
    • Contracts
    • Copyright
  55. Plain GDPR Processor Addendum

    open form plain-language processor addendum

    • Forms
    • Contracts
    • Privacy
    • GDPR
  56. Plain Terms of Service

    open form terms of service for websites

    • Forms
    • Contracts
  57. Proseline

    peer to peer prose editing

    • Software
    • Peer-to-Peer
  58. Six Great Deals Books

    read these books

    • Law
    • Contracts
    • Drafting
  59. Public Domain Chronicle

    a fast, easy, and free way to secure scientific methods and findings for the public domain

    • Science
    • Licensing
    • Patent
  60. Help Wanted

    kinds of help I could use

    • Projects
  61. Transparent Contract Components

    sharper tools, finer toolmarks

    • Common Form
    • Contract Drafting
    • Contract Architecture
  62. MPL-2.0 versus OPL-2.1

    a redline (diff) showing changes

    • Open Source
    • Licenses
    • Drafting
  63. Lexical Scope for Contracts

    wandering ever closer to LISP

    • Common Form
    • Contract Drafting
    • Contract Architecture
  64. I Have Another Blog

    you may want to subscribe on License Zero, too

    • Projects
    • Licensing
    • Open Source
  65. Licence Libre du Québec – Réciprocité versus - Réciprocité forte

    a redline (diff) showing changes

    • Open Source
    • Licenses
    • Drafting
  66. CLAs are Not a Sham

    licensing with friends, improved and improving

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  67. The Well Appointed Skinner Box

    farewell, Medium

    • Blog
    • Writing
    • Social Media
  68. Contract Components

    fine-grained means of abstraction in legal drafting

    • Common Form
    • Contract Drafting
    • Contract Architecture
  69. Debian Free Software Guidelines versus the Open Source Definition

    a redline (diff) showing changes

    • Open Source
  70. Mercenary Rapport

    moral blindness in open source as social media

    • Open Source
    • Unsustainability at Scale
    • Social Media
  71. Unsustainability at Scale

    today’s tools for yesterday’s problems tomorrow

    • Open Source
    • Sustainability
  72. Feed this Bear

    indie coder, promote thyself!

    • Open Source
    • Contracts
  73. Overkill

    doing IP law wrong, and getting away with it

    • Intellectual Property
    • Clients
    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  74. The License Zero Manifesto

    sustainable software in the open

    • Licensing
    • Open Source
    • License Zero
  75. Prescription Contracts

    thinking about direct lawyer guidance on rxnda.com

    • RxNDA
    • Contracts
    • Confidentiality
  76. Null Value

    against demise of the hacker public license

    • Licensing
    • Open Source
    • Policy
  77. Nobody’s Clients

    • Legal Profession
    • Legal Technology
    • Personal Notes
  78. RxNDA.com

    breaking the NDA logjam

    • RxNDA
    • Contracts
    • Software
  79. Seven Takeaways from the SEC DAO Report

    reading the tea leaves of the Commission’s first major ICO report

    • Blockchain
    • Cryptocurrency
    • Securities
  80. Switchmode Developer Agreement

    an open form contract for open source contractors

    • Contracts
    • Forms
    • Open Source
  81. Open Software Service Terms

    legal terms for paid web apps, now available in the English language

    • Contracts
    • Forms
    • Open Source
  82. It’s Not About Community

    another view of Open Source

    • Open Source
    • Legal Profession
  83. Open Source: Theory of Operation

    a short, practical guide to open source software for programmers at work

    • Open Source
    • Licenses
  84. Debian 8.7 on Dell Optiplex 7010

  85. Open Source License Business Perception Report

    the pain and confusion of common open licenses, roughly quantified

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  86. Against Legislating the Nonobvious

    short-order feedback on the default contributor license in GitHub’s draft terms of service

    • Open Source
    • GitHub
    • Licensing
  87. The Mendicant Maintainerati

    no holy fools for Open Source

    • Open Source
    • Contracts
    • Governance
  88. The MIT License, Line by Line

    171 words every programmer should understand

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  89. The Earl of Ethereum’s Case

    Who keeps a blockchain’s conscience?

    • Blockchain
    • Ethereum
    • Governance
    • History of Law
  90. Deal Mechanic

    The writing on the door.

    • Law Practice
  91. Emancipation by Reference

    I am just a copy of a copy of a copy. Everything I say you have read before.

    • Common Form
    • Contracts
    • Lawyering
  92. Node.js Streams

    fundamental abstractions reviewed and revisited

    • Node.js
    • JavaScript
    • Design Patterns
  93. IP Field Guide

    publicly licensed, publicly available intro for non-lawyers

    • Copyright
    • Patent
    • Trade Secret
    • Trademark
  94. The JavaScript Joke Was on Me

    or, a few things learned the hard way

    • JavaScript
    • Programming
  95. Circulation Policy

    Confidentiality rules and procedures for the great Common Form library in the sky

    • Common Form
    • Confidentiality
  96. Annotations in Context

    A first attempt at useful, responsible Common Form annotations

    • Common Form
    • Privacy
    • Confidentiality
  97. I Don’t Want to Know What “Open Source” Means

    I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all on GitHub.

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  98. License from Who?

    Safe open-source licensing means more than a LICENSE file.

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Provenance
  99. The Triplebyte Plan

    The tangled web of one start-up equity plan

    • Startups
    • Securities
    • Document Structure
  100. The Berneout Pledge

    Sucks less than CLAs!

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  101. First Read: The Fair Source License

    Text and my first thoughts on a new, non-open source form license

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Drafting
  102. I’ll Never Be a Super Lawyer

    In feigned ignorance there is no grace.

    • Legal Profession
    • Marketing
    • Open Legal Data
  103. Startup Unix

    An open legal operating system for start-up technology companies

    • Legal
    • Open Source
    • Startups
  104. What Enumeration Means

    Enumeration is an essential contract drafting tool. Don’t disclaim it!

    • Contracts
    • Ambiguity
    • Software
  105. Template Ambiguity

    Document assembly can make ambiguity even harder to spot.

    • Ambiguity
    • Contracts
    • Templates
  106. The Blanks Problem

    A tough Common Form design decision explained.

    • Common Form
    • Contracts
  107. Term Injection

    Fighting insertion of unexpected terms in automated form contracts

    • Contracts
    • Security
    • Common Form
  108. React Patent Redline

    Changes to Facebook’s patent grant for React, Flux, Immutable, &c.

    • Patent
    • Licensing
    • Open Source
  109. Certificated Assent

    How signed is signed enough for a hosted software licensing deal?

    • Contracts
    • Law
    • SaaS
  110. Hacking Common Form

    Overview of existing Common Form software for programmers

    • Common Form
    • Programming
  111. Terms of Service; Already Read

    Verifiable contracts should help consumers, too.

    • Privacy
    • Common Form
  112. Reproduction of Hierarchy

    Markdown isn’t great for contracts. HTML5 is better.

    • Contracts
    • Software
    • Common Form
  113. Index Card Contracts

    Common Form for paper people

    • Common Form
    • Contracts
  114. Grab-Bag Contracts

    Might we write contracts like we fill shopping bags at the grocery store?

    • Law
    • Contracts
    • Common Form
  115. Named Provisions

    If contract section numbers are just another namespace, can they be replaced with defined terms?

    • Law
    • Contracts
    • Drafting
    • Modularity
  116. vesting.js

    From code to law and back again

    • Law
    • Programming
    • Startups
    • Common Form
  117. Blind Patches

    What if open-source contributors could submit patches anonymously and choose to claim credit later?

    • Open Source
    • Collaboration
    • Privacy
  118. Modularity is not the Law

    Ancient and modern principles of contract interpretation work against contracts made of modular parts

    • Common Form
    • Contracts
    • Modularity
  119. The Halliburton Hypothesis

    Quantifying the negotiating process to mount attacks on the confidentiality of a public contract forms repository

    • Law
    • Contracts
    • Data
  120. Value Statement

    as found at the feet of my bills

    • Professional Fees
    • Law Practice
  121. FTC 2014 Year in Review

    What do the FTC’s 2014 privacy and security enforcement actions teach tech companies?

    • Law
    • Privacy
    • Security
    • Startups
    • Federal Trade Commission
  122. Common Form

    Composable, verifiable, shareable form contracts for the modern practice of law

    • Contracts
    • Law
    • Software
  123. deflect.js

    An ECMAScript module fusing Node.js error-first convention with continuation passing style, plus a twist to make composed stacks of asynchronous functions dynamic

    • Programming
    • Node.js
    • ECMAScript
  124. Deep Data Privacy Risk

    Cheap storage technology isn’t just changing what information we store; it’s also changing how we store familiar kinds of information. Both developments have implications for privacy.

    • Privacy
    • Databases
    • Big Data