Recently, while flipping through a recent issue of php|architect, I came across a familiar name: Hunter Jensen.
Hunter and I met at ZendCon 06 when we shared a hotel room for the week. At the time, he was an active user of QCodo and generally working with a number of customers along that front. Somewhere along the way, he decided to consider the dark side… a degree in law.
(cue scary music now)
Seriously though… if you've been on any forum or mailing list for more than 3 days, you've seen the IANAL (I Am Not a Lawyer) abbreviation. While we can't keep up to date on every single aspect, there are some thing that we need to be aware of and track. I think licensing issues (GPL vs Public Domain vs etc, etc) is one of the biggest issues that make our lives difficult, but there are a number of others…
Hunter's first article was on Source Code Escrow and while it's not something I've ever had to deal with, it was a helpful perspective on how things could work and some issues to watch for in terms of licensing, agreements, etc. I've seen a number of organizations that were on the verge of going under and their customers would have been better protected by an escrow agreement, so it's interesting to learn some of the details on how they can and should work. Definitely educational.
His second article – which I haven't read yet – is on Web Development Contracts and I'm looking forward to see what he has to say on it.
If you'd like to keep up with his articles or want to give him some feedback, check out Hunter's author page. I'm looking forward to what he comes up with next. More than anything, it's good to see one of our own making the plunge and learning the details and intricacies of where law and software meet.