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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. Venture Capital Shill

    scapegoating free software’s failures

    • Copyleft
    • Free Software
    • Open Source
    • Politics
  2. Nomadic Lawyering

    office out, travel in?

    • Law Practice
  3. MulanPSL

    a new riff on the Apache patent bargain from China

    • Open Source
    • Licenses
    • Patents
  4. Heather Meeker on “Ethos Licensing”

    free and open is ethos licensing, too

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Ethics
    • Politics
  5. “BSD with PATENTS” and “BSD-2-Clause Plus Patent” are Not the Same

    similar licenses, very different receptions

    • Open Source
    • Licenses
  6. Love this License

    law brut with ASCII art

    • Open Source
    • Licenses
  7. Blue Oak Guide to Copyleft

    short introduction and license families

    • Blue Oak Council
    • Copyleft
    • Intellectual Property
    • Licensing
  8. Waypoint Trademark

    protecting the integrity of a standard form

    • Waypoint
    • Contracts
    • Nondisclosure Agreement
    • Standards
    • Trademark
  9. CASE Act Flythrough

    notes from a quick read of H.R. 2426

    • Legislation
    • Copyright
  10. Blue Oak Test Suite

    test cases for new public licenses

    • Blue Oak Council
    • Open Source
    • Education
    • Licensing
  11. Blue Oak Reading List

    reading list for lawyers new to open source

    • Blue Oak Council
    • Open Source
    • Education
  12. XLC Building Blocks

    essential concepts and vocabulary for cross-license collaboratives

    • Licensing
    • XLC
  13. Cross-License Collaboratives

    decentralizing contributor license agreements

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Business Models
    • Decentralization
  14. Standards, Patents, Open Source

    towards constructive collaboration across practice communities

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Standards
    • Patents
    • Copyleft
  15. Blue Oak Guidance on Mergers and Acquisitions

    please stop paying me so much to fix reps and warranties

    • Open Source
    • Mergers and Acquisitions
  16. No LICENSE

    they won’t see your funding plea if they never look

    • Killjoy
    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  17. Our Ethics, Not Yours

    in defense of Seth Vargo and morality-first licenses

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
    • Politics
  18. The Tyranny of Time

    licensing gives developers much-needed flexibility

    • Business
    • Licensing
    • Open Source
  19. Open Core is Not a Good Story

    three better ways to express yourself and your company

    • Open Source
    • Open Core
    • Business Models
  20. Open Legal Podcast?

    considering an open legal podcast

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  21. Is this conference a good idea?

    forthcoming talk at a conference

    • Events
    • Open Source
    • Business Models
  22. The Great Open Source Shake-Up

    more mandatory reading from Kate Downing

    • Open Source
    • Colleagues
  23. Here Comes the CCPA

    my annotated copy of the statute

    • Privacy
    • Compliance
    • California
  24. Waypoint 2.0.0

    a more adaptable, international standard

    • Waypoint
    • Contracts
    • Nondisclosure Agreement
    • Standards
  25. Changeblog

    a few thoughts on a friend’s podcast appearance

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  26. Require Credit For Your Software

    a general-purpose legal tool to require credit for open work

    • Licenses
    • Open Source
  27. Waypoint Abroad

    seeking quick reads from non-US counsel

    • Waypoint
    • Contracts
    • Nondisclosure Agreement
    • Standards
  28. PANDA for Privacy

    the NDA for your personal information

    • Contracts
    • Forms
    • Privacy
  29. Polyform 1.0.0

    standard noncommercial software licenses at last

    • Licensing
    • Software
  30. Heather Meeker on Patent Risk Allocation

    unique compilation of arguments and dynamics

    • Software
    • Licensing
    • Patents
  31. Get In, Get Out

    open source advice for new programmers breaking into the industry

    • Careers
    • Open Source
    • Software Industry
  32. Help Take the Waypoint NDA International

    a call for help from common-law colleagues

    • Waypoint
    • Contracts
    • Nondisclosure Agreement
    • Standards
  33. Open Letters

    a snail mail experiment

  34. A Twit No More

    farewell, Twitter

    • Writing
    • Social Media
  35. Dark Arts at Daybreak

    the end of club rule in open source law

    • Open Source
    • Law Practice
    • Colleagues
  36. Operating Environment

    essential industry background for reading open software licenses

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

    how open licensing blew its biggest opportunity of the 2010s

    • Licensing
    • Open Source
    • SSPL
  38. Polyform Project

    simple, standard, plain-language software licenses

    • Licensing
    • Software
    • Standardization
  39. Mortarboard Licenses

    graduate to new public license terms

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

    exploring the crosswise policy biases we learn from open software

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

    how to type when the pain puts you on your back

  42. Tyranny of Permissionlessness

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

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

    activist approval does not track practical needs

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

    a redline (diff) with important network terms highlighted

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

    stop wasting time on NDAs

    • Waypoint
    • Contracts
    • Nondisclosure Agreement
    • Standards
  46. #wontfix

    endorsements can’t fix the Open Source Definition

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

    a new proposal, schema, and tools

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

    the status quo, plus money for devs

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

    repairing broken steps to software license Nirvana

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

    automatically reward supporters with copyleft exceptions

    • Sketches
    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  51. License Utopia

    just four licenses for all of open source

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

    bringing openness to software of moral concern

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

    towards selective or consistent copyleft

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

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

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

    opening the software commons to everyone

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

    the copyright giant has a policy

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

    developing resource for indie-ready business models

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

    a comprehensive curriculum for new license wonks

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

    evident demand for license rules on API boundaries

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

    first release of API-boundary copyleft form

    • Copyleft
    • Licensing
    • Open Source
  61. API Copyleft

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

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

    developing a standard paid-software license

    • Contracts
    • Forms
    • Software
  63. Shared Component License

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

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

    open software by closed methods

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

    write out the purposes of legal terms in contracts

    • Drafting
    • Contracts
    • License
  66. Availability Dashboard

    professional availability now online

  67. Apache-2.0 versus ECL-2.0

    a redline (diff) showing substantive changes

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

    a minimal, functionalist view of open source

    • Governance
    • Licensing
    • Open Source
  69. Open Handicaps

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

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

    making money by choosing what to give away

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

    an in-depth review of commonly cited criteria

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

    loopholes, licenses, and realpolitik in open source

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

    the missing vocabulary of copyleft design

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

    crosspost from the License Zero blog

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

    first stab at a pragmatic best-practice guide

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

    attacking the NDA problem with standards networks

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

    dispensing software licenses in the Internet era

    • Killjoy
    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  78. Contributor Councils

    relicensing without foundation, BDFL, or unanimity

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

    do not do or die

    • Motorcycles
  80. Patents for Software Freedom

    gun-shy insurgents and the heavy weapons of IP law

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

    celestial finance for earth-bound developers

    • Killjoy
    • Open Source
    • Funding
  82. Crowd Hiring

    assurance contracts for short-term open software maintenance

    • Open Source
    • Legal Technology
    • Contracts
  83. 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
  84. Private Changes in Free Software Copyleft Licenses

    Where’s the fifth freedom?

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

    takedown power for DIY developers

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

    marriages of licensing convenience, and changed circumstances

    • Open Source
    • Licenses
    • Drafting
  87. Selective Mythology

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

    • Open Source
    • Procurement
  88. Attending LegalHackers Summit

  89. The Decentralization Game

    tips for values-forward reformers

  90. The Posterity Public License

    a strong-attribution open source license

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

    TechCrunch article on problems and solutions

  92. Digging Contracts Out of the Hole

    simple tools for drafting to be proud of

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

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

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

    open form plain-language processor addendum

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

    open form terms of service for websites

    • Forms
    • Contracts
  96. Proseline

    peer to peer prose editing

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

    read these books

    • Law
    • Contracts
    • Drafting
  98. Public Domain Chronicle

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

    • Science
    • Licensing
    • Patent
  99. Help Wanted

    kinds of help I could use

    • Projects
  100. Transparent Contract Components

    sharper tools, finer toolmarks

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

    a redline (diff) showing changes

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

    wandering ever closer to LISP

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

    you may want to subscribe on License Zero, too

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

    a redline (diff) showing changes

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

    licensing with friends, improved and improving

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

    farewell, Medium

    • Blog
    • Writing
    • Social Media
  107. Contract Components

    fine-grained means of abstraction in legal drafting

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

    a redline (diff) showing changes

    • Open Source
  109. Mercenary Rapport

    moral blindness in open source as social media

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

    today’s tools for yesterday’s problems tomorrow

    • Open Source
    • Sustainability
  111. Feed this Bear

    indie coder, promote thyself!

    • Open Source
    • Contracts
  112. Overkill

    doing IP law wrong, and getting away with it

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

    sustainable software in the open

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

    thinking about direct lawyer guidance on rxnda.com

    • RxNDA
    • Contracts
    • Confidentiality
  115. Null Value

    against demise of the hacker public license

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

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

    breaking the NDA logjam

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

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

    • Blockchain
    • Cryptocurrency
    • Securities
  119. Switchmode Developer Agreement

    an open form contract for open source contractors

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

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

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

    another view of Open Source

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

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

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

  124. Open Source License Business Perception Report

    the pain and confusion of common open licenses, roughly quantified

    • Open Source
    • Licensing
  125. Against Legislating the Nonobvious

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

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

    no holy fools for Open Source

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

    171 words every programmer should understand

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

    Who keeps a blockchain’s conscience?

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

    The writing on the door.

    • Law Practice
  130. 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
  131. Node.js Streams

    fundamental abstractions reviewed and revisited

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

    publicly licensed, publicly available intro for non-lawyers

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

    or, a few things learned the hard way

    • JavaScript
    • Programming
  134. Circulation Policy

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

    • Common Form
    • Confidentiality
  135. Annotations in Context

    A first attempt at useful, responsible Common Form annotations

    • Common Form
    • Privacy
    • Confidentiality
  136. 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
  137. License from Who?

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

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

    The tangled web of one start-up equity plan

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

    Sucks less than CLAs!

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

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

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

    In feigned ignorance there is no grace.

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

    An open legal operating system for start-up technology companies

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

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

    • Contracts
    • Ambiguity
    • Software
  144. Template Ambiguity

    Document assembly can make ambiguity even harder to spot.

    • Ambiguity
    • Contracts
    • Templates
  145. The Blanks Problem

    A tough Common Form design decision explained.

    • Common Form
    • Contracts
  146. Term Injection

    Fighting insertion of unexpected terms in automated form contracts

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

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

    • Patent
    • Licensing
    • Open Source
  148. Certificated Assent

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

    • Contracts
    • Law
    • SaaS
  149. Hacking Common Form

    Overview of existing Common Form software for programmers

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

    Verifiable contracts should help consumers, too.

    • Privacy
    • Common Form
  151. Reproduction of Hierarchy

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

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

    Common Form for paper people

    • Common Form
    • Contracts
  153. Grab-Bag Contracts

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

    • Law
    • Contracts
    • Common Form
  154. Named Provisions

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

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

    From code to law and back again

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Law
    • Contracts
    • Data
  159. Value Statement

    as found at the feet of my bills

    • Professional Fees
    • Law Practice
  160. 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
  161. Common Form

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

    • Contracts
    • Law
    • Software
  162. 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
  163. 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