Chris Nandor wrote:
>At 20:04 -0700 2000.09.11, Russ Allbery wrote:
> >Chris Nandor <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> >
> >> But my point is that I don't want a laywer actually writing the 
> >> I would rather he give his input and opinions, and then others do the
> >> writing.  I am far more interested in his opinion of the existing
> >> license than his version of it.
> >
> >This makes no sense to me.  Would you say this about the deed to your
> >house?
>If a deed to a house could be written as brielfy as a software license,
>then I might.  From what little I know about deeds, it's like asking me why
>I would want to write a short editorial, but wouldn't want to write a
>6-part, 200,000-word investigative report.
Actually I would prefer to see you write your own deed than
software license.  Deeds are fairly common, you can use your
neighbour's as a template, the laws are reasonably clear-cut,
and there are books to lead you through the process.

Software happens to lie at the intersection of every form of
intellectual property law that there is.  In addition software
law is changing rapidly, some of the most interesting legal
challenges in intellectual property law are in software, and
a good license should be able to deal with that.

I know some non-lawyers who could write a software license I
would trust.  But I would not want to rely on a license
written by anyone who didn't not only know the above, but
who could not cite chapter and verse what those issues are.
> >One of the primary jobs of a lawyer is, given a specification from a
> >client on what they want to say, drafting the legal language that
> >accurately says that.
>I am not sure what relevance that has.  What someone decides his job is
>puts no obligation on me to think that he should have that job.

Russ is saying what lawyers actually *do* all day.  Whether or
not they are necessary is another story.  I think that they are
necessary for good software licenses.  Or at the least offers
of help from lawyers should not be turned down.

>I am not -- we are not -- capable of writing a deed to a house, that I can
>tell (maybe we are, I don't know).  We are perfectly capable of writing a
>software license.  When we are done, lawyerly review would be fine.  But
>why should we let someone without vested interest write something that
>those who do have vested interest are perfectly capable of writing?

Do you have a clue what the differences are between what can
be enforced under contract law versus what can be enforced
by a regular software license?

>I mean, I wrote a license off the top of my head in a few seconds that you
>thought would be mostly acceptable, but would suggest some changes to.  So
>you have already admitted that we are capable of writing a license.  That's
>what I am talking about.  We write it, and then solicit opinions and
>changes and suggestions.

Saying you got most of the ideas is one thing.

Saying that it is something you would want to take to court
is another kettle of fish!

If the lawyers are proposing documents that don't say what we
want, we can tell them we don't want them.  But when it comes
to software licenses, the lawyers have a lot to say that it
would be very stupid to ignore.

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