[License-discuss] [Non-DoD Source] Re: Resources to discourage governments from bespoke licenses?

McCoy Smith mccoy at lexpan.law
Fri Feb 28 22:08:56 UTC 2020

>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: License-discuss <license-discuss-bounces at lists.opensource.org> On
Behalf Of Pamela Chestek
>>Sent: Friday, February 28, 2020 1:19 PM
>>To: license-discuss at lists.opensource.org
>>Subject: Re: [License-discuss] [Non-DoD Source] Re: Resources to
discourage governments from bespoke licenses?

>>There are many lawyers on the list and we all walk the line about whether
we're providing legal advice, IANYL and all. The hilarity is that we
negotiate licenses with others, lawyers and non-lawyers, all the time and
there are no secrets and no privilege when you're talking to an opposing
party. Yes, what you say may ultimately (in the rare case) come back to bite
you if the license is litigated, but that's true in a one-on-one negotiation
too. The only difference here is that the discussion is publicly available
(which is generally not the case in a private negotiation) and there are A
LOT of people on the other side.

And there is one relatively common and simple solution to this concern: some
sort of notification (header, footer, etc.) with a disclaimer on any
communication that makes clear that legal advice is not being given, the
lawyers represent only their clients and no one else reading the message,
people should consult their own attorneys, etc. etc.  It can even be put in
bold or all caps or red or whatever "prominent" way the lawyers think will
make clear to anyone and everyone that they're not dispensing legal advice
to the world.

Cem, it seems like you're being put in the unenviable position of having to
indirectly act as a communication conduit between a bunch of lawyers.  That
seems suboptimal, and is not really fair to you to have to try to translate
each side's position to the other.

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