You need this.

Software and law have lived uneasily with each other for a few decades—and it’s endlessly entertaining and interesting to read and learn about.

FUD is on both sides

There’s a lot of FUD (you know, fear-uncertainty-doubt) to go around.

In our world of software engineering, there’s always some person running around the office saying, “Omg. We can’t do _____ because ____ (insert whatever regulation, litigation, legislation, or rumor you want).” And it’s hard to know whether this person is right or wrong. You can Google and find some article or page—maybe it’s right. Maybe it’s not. How do you know?

On the other side, as I’m writing this about page, Congress is currently hyperventilating about the idea of Facebook creating a new cryptocurrency called Libra (I’m a libra, so ty FB). Even in California, Maxine Waters is trying to find a way to prevent tech companies from doing anything like this The Powers That Be maybe have even more FUD about software than engineers do about law.

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LEGAL DISCLAIMERS AND OTHER MUMBO JUMBO: since this is a newsletter from an attorney, it is possible that this could be construed as attorney advertising (in blinking lights, of courts). I should also tell you that anything I say or opinions I offer in the list should never be construed as legal advice — even if you think the facts from some case or situation I discuss are pretty close to yours, small details make a big difference. And besides, since I’m just broadcasting information without seeing your individual situation, how could I possibly be giving you legal advice? Never forget the lesson of the Selfish Giant. And finally, my name is Michael Rice, I wrote this content, I’m licensed in California, and, with rare exception, can only work with clients in California.