New Discussion List: Review the ALI Principles of the Law of Software Contracts

New discussion group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/review_sw_contract_law

At the Conference of the Association for Software Testing, I presented an introduction to the Principles of the Law of Software Contracts, a project-in-the-works of the American Law Institute that I believe will frame this decade’s (2006-2016) debate over the regulation / enforcement of software contracts in the USA. For more information, see my blog, http://kaner.com/?p=19 and my CAST slides, http://kaner.com/pdfs/Law%20of%20Software%20Contracting.pdf

The ALI is open to critical feedback of its drafts. The Principles project will continue for several years.

The ALI is an association of lawyers, not software developers. If you want the law to sensibly guide engineering practice, you’re going to have to help these lawyers figure out what the implications of their proposals are and, where those implications are bad, what tweaks they might make to achieve their objectives more cleanly.

Note: Free Software Contracts are software contracts too. The same laws that govern enforceability of Microsoft’s software licenses govern the free software licenses. If you don’t think that gives people a chance to make mischief for GPL and Creative Commons, well, think again.

My goal is for this list to help people develop feedback memos for review by the ALI drafting committee.

Membership in this list is open, but messages are tightly moderated. I expect most members will be software development practitioners or academics, with a few journalists and lawyers thrown in. I intend a relatively low volume list with zero spam and reasonably collegial discussion. I am not at all opposed to the idea of developing contradictory sets of comments for ALI (one group submits one set, another group submits another set that completely disagrees with the first) but I will push for development of comments that are well reasoned and well supported by facts.

— Cem Kaner

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