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

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Fast Pathcutting-edge legal terms for software license sales

If you sell software in the US of A, I want to maintain your legal terms.

Not draft. Not negotiate. Not bill three hours at $500 a pop to talk through, spec out, and fettle. Maintain. Like software. One to many.

Today I’m announcing Fast Path, a new project of my company, Artless Devices. Fast Path is software for making license terms for selling software. It represents the state of my art in cutting-edge, human-readable, fully customizable commercial license terms, as well as all the latest contract automation software I’ve developed since I started practicing law.

It’s my goal to make Fast Path a long-lasting, one-stop-shop for my best work in this genre. Answer a few questions, click a button, get a customized ZIP archive with legal terms, a term sheet, an order form template, and HTML for your website, wizard style. Propose to customers large and small with confidence. Sell.

Fast Path is my mental decision tree made digital, plus my current-best language for everywhere that decision tree leads. Questions, answers, and preparation are 100% client-side operations, so the server sees nothing about your choices. The site is no-log by design, so come and go without fear. I definitely want to hear what you’re up to. But only if you reach out and tell me.

To fund this work—some of the most challenging and enjoyable I have ever done—I am offering Fast Path to the world under a straightforward deal. If you use Fast Path terms to make a sale, you owe Artless Devices a fixed-dollar fee. To access Fast Path, you only have to agree to that deal—that you will pay only if you close—plus a few other details. From there, you’re more or less on your honor, modulo my legal right to squash you if I find you selling with Fast Path on the lam.

Leading out, the fee is $10 for sales to individuals and $100 for sales to organizations. Based on early feedback, I’m also offering a subscription: pay me $425 per month—less than an hour at my going rate as a lawyer—to close up to 100 deals of any type in that period. I’m sure this will probably change over time, and I’ll be happy to talk custom pricing with anyone for whom the default makes no sense, or who’d chip in by helping me promote Fast Path than by paying dollars. Reach out.

I’m not worried about getting paid. I’m not worried about folks scrounging up free forms other places online. If you know enough to care about your legal terms, you know you want good ones. If you’re in the software world, you know what a shit show “sustainability” is for good work priced at zero. We’ve reproduced that problem plenty by now.

Fast Path isn’t going to have a never-ending sustainability conversation, like “The Song That Doesn’t End”. Nobody wants to see that xkcd again, but this time about their license terms. Nobody wants Heartbleed in their legal folder.

The best defense against legal issues isn’t more dark and dignified lawyer-magic. It isn’t suits, ties, musty books, or puffed-up professionals pretending they perfectly practice the mysteries. The best defense is an active offense. Bugs are coming. Features will be needed. No one—and no lawyer—can see all that. But there are ways of gathering eyeballs, and most eyeballs that matter in software belong to software people.

Fast Path is rigorously versioned from day one. Today is 1.0.0 day. I’m running a full test suite, complete with driven-browser integration tests. There’s a link to a page on contribution right at the top of the site. There’s a contact page with a link to Artless Devices’ forum. My first revenue-gated goal is a Knuth check program. I’m going to show my work. I’m going to show learning, and progress.

Do Fast Path’s options meet your needs?

How does the fee model sit with your business?

Can Fast Path be a brand that’s not only known-good for sellers, but known-good for buyers, too?

Let’s find out.

Your thoughts and feedback are always welcome by e-mail.

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