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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. Operating Environment

    essential industry background for reading open software licenses

    • Industry
    • Licensing
    • Open Source
    • Software
  2. SSPL Was Not Commons Clause

    how open licensing blew its biggest opportunity of the 2010s

    • Licensing
    • Open Source
    • SSPL
  3. Polyform Project

    simple, standard, plain-language software licenses

    • Licensing
    • Software
    • Standardization
  4. Mortarboard Licenses

    graduate to new public license terms

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Business Models
  5. Schools of Cohesion

    exploring the crosswise policy biases we learn from open software

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

    how to type when the pain puts you on your back

  7. Tyranny of Permissionlessness

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

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

    activist approval does not track practical needs

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

    a redline (diff) with important network terms highlighted

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

    stop wasting time on NDAs

    • Contracts
    • Nondisclosure Agreement
    • Standards
  11. #wontfix

    endorsements can’t fix the Open Source Definition

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

    a new proposal, schema, and tools

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

    the status quo, plus money for devs

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

    repairing broken steps to software license Nirvana

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

    automatically reward supporters with copyleft exceptions

    • Sketches
    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  16. License Utopia

    just four licenses for all of open source

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

    bringing openness to software of moral concern

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

    towards selective or consistent copyleft

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

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

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

    opening the software commons to everyone

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

    the copyright giant has a policy

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

    developing resource for indie-ready business models

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

    a comprehensive curriculum for new license wonks

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

    evident demand for license rules on API boundaries

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

    first release of API-boundary copyleft form

    • Copyleft
    • Licensing
    • Open Source
  26. API Copyleft

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

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

    developing a standard paid-software license

    • Contracts
    • Forms
    • Software
  28. Shared Component License

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

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

    open software by closed methods

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

    write out the purposes of legal terms in contracts

    • Drafting
    • Contracts
    • License
  31. Availability Dashboard

    professional availability now online

  32. Apache-2.0 versus ECL-2.0

    a redline (diff) showing substantive changes

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

    a minimal, functionalist view of open source

    • Governance
    • Licensing
    • Open Source
  34. Open Handicaps

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

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

    making money by choosing what to give away

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

    an in-depth review of commonly cited criteria

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

    loopholes, licenses, and realpolitik in open source

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

    the missing vocabulary of copyleft design

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

    crosspost from the License Zero blog

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

    first stab at a pragmatic best-practice guide

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

    attacking the NDA problem with standards networks

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

    dispensing software licenses in the Internet era

    • Killjoy
    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  43. Contributor Councils

    relicensing without foundation, BDFL, or unanimity

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

    do not do or die

    • Motorcycles
  45. Patents for Software Freedom

    gun-shy insurgents and the heavy weapons of IP law

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

    celestial finance for earth-bound developers

    • Killjoy
    • Open Source
    • Funding
  47. Crowd Hiring

    assurance contracts for short-term open software maintenance

    • Open Source
    • Legal Technology
    • Contracts
  48. 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
  49. Private Changes in Free Software Copyleft Licenses

    Where’s the fifth freedom?

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

    takedown power for DIY developers

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

    marriages of licensing convenience, and changed circumstances

    • Open Source
    • Licenses
    • Drafting
  52. Selective Mythology

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

    • Open Source
    • Procurement
  53. Attending LegalHackers Summit

  54. The Decentralization Game

    tips for values-forward reformers

  55. The Posterity Public License

    a strong-attribution open source license

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

    TechCrunch article on problems and solutions

  57. Digging Contracts Out of the Hole

    simple tools for drafting to be proud of

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

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

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

    open form plain-language processor addendum

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

    open form terms of service for websites

    • Forms
    • Contracts
  61. Proseline

    peer to peer prose editing

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

    read these books

    • Law
    • Contracts
    • Drafting
  63. Public Domain Chronicle

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

    • Science
    • Licensing
    • Patent
  64. Help Wanted

    kinds of help I could use

    • Projects
  65. Transparent Contract Components

    sharper tools, finer toolmarks

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

    a redline (diff) showing changes

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

    wandering ever closer to LISP

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

    you may want to subscribe on License Zero, too

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

    a redline (diff) showing changes

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

    licensing with friends, improved and improving

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

    farewell, Medium

    • Blog
    • Writing
    • Social Media
  72. Contract Components

    fine-grained means of abstraction in legal drafting

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

    a redline (diff) showing changes

    • Open Source
  74. Mercenary Rapport

    moral blindness in open source as social media

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

    today’s tools for yesterday’s problems tomorrow

    • Open Source
    • Sustainability
  76. Feed this Bear

    indie coder, promote thyself!

    • Open Source
    • Contracts
  77. Overkill

    doing IP law wrong, and getting away with it

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

    sustainable software in the open

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

    thinking about direct lawyer guidance on rxnda.com

    • RxNDA
    • Contracts
    • Confidentiality
  80. Null Value

    against demise of the hacker public license

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

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

    breaking the NDA logjam

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

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

    • Blockchain
    • Cryptocurrency
    • Securities
  84. Switchmode Developer Agreement

    an open form contract for open source contractors

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

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

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

    another view of Open Source

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

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

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

  89. Open Source License Business Perception Report

    the pain and confusion of common open licenses, roughly quantified

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  90. Against Legislating the Nonobvious

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

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

    no holy fools for Open Source

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

    171 words every programmer should understand

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

    Who keeps a blockchain’s conscience?

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

    The writing on the door.

    • Law Practice
  95. 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
  96. Node.js Streams

    fundamental abstractions reviewed and revisited

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

    publicly licensed, publicly available intro for non-lawyers

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

    or, a few things learned the hard way

    • JavaScript
    • Programming
  99. Circulation Policy

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

    • Common Form
    • Confidentiality
  100. Annotations in Context

    A first attempt at useful, responsible Common Form annotations

    • Common Form
    • Privacy
    • Confidentiality
  101. 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
  102. License from Who?

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

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

    The tangled web of one start-up equity plan

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

    Sucks less than CLAs!

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

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

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

    In feigned ignorance there is no grace.

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

    An open legal operating system for start-up technology companies

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

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

    • Contracts
    • Ambiguity
    • Software
  109. Template Ambiguity

    Document assembly can make ambiguity even harder to spot.

    • Ambiguity
    • Contracts
    • Templates
  110. The Blanks Problem

    A tough Common Form design decision explained.

    • Common Form
    • Contracts
  111. Term Injection

    Fighting insertion of unexpected terms in automated form contracts

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

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

    • Patent
    • Licensing
    • Open Source
  113. Certificated Assent

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

    • Contracts
    • Law
    • SaaS
  114. Hacking Common Form

    Overview of existing Common Form software for programmers

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

    Verifiable contracts should help consumers, too.

    • Privacy
    • Common Form
  116. Reproduction of Hierarchy

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

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

    Common Form for paper people

    • Common Form
    • Contracts
  118. Grab-Bag Contracts

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

    • Law
    • Contracts
    • Common Form
  119. Named Provisions

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

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

    From code to law and back again

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Law
    • Contracts
    • Data
  124. Value Statement

    as found at the feet of my bills

    • Professional Fees
    • Law Practice
  125. 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
  126. Common Form

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

    • Contracts
    • Law
    • Software
  127. 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
  128. 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