Um, with all due respect, Chris, I'm having a lot of trouble following
your reasoning. I currently work for a company that is in serious trouble
and may well go under; one of the contributing factors to that situation
may well have been that our senior management writes their own contracts
without (as far as we lower-level people can tell) consulting a
laywer...which means that they signed a contract with a distributor but
the distributor had no obligation whatsoever to market our product.
Since our product was lower profit-margin than some other products that
distributor carried, ours basically never saw the light of day and we may
sink. (There is a happy ending since we're all moving over to a new
company, but that's not relevant to the topic at hand.)
Yes, certainly, we need to figure out what we want the License to say, but
we need to have someone with legal expertise contribute to the debate on
what it should say, and to actually write the language. We should then
review the language that he creates, require him to explain anything that
isn't clear, and have him fix anything that we feel is not in accord with
our vision or explain why, due to relevant case law and legal precedents,
we would be wise to modify our vision.
Russ Allbery: > >
Chris Nandor: >
> >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.
The only way I can understand your objection, Chris, is if I read
it as "Just because someone wants to be a lawyer doesn't mean he's
competent." In that case, it's simply a matter of finding a lawyer who
_is_ competent. Would it bother you less if we rephrased Russ's
argument this way:
'The legal profession was created in order to provide individuals
who are aware of all relevant case law and legal precendents. It is the
duty of the members of this profession to frame the client's wishes in
appropriate legal language such that the client cannot be exploited and
his/her wishes must be respected--or, if not, then the client will have
legal recourse against those who fail to respect the client's wishes.'
> why should we let someone without vested interest write something that
> those who do have vested interest are perfectly capable of writing?
A lawyer _does_ have a vested interest...he's paid to have one.
Moreover, his reputation and future business depend on how good a job he
> 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.
Actually, the fact that someone suggested changes to it means that
it was not a legally acceptable license.