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Automated contract drafting

Anyone have recommendations or experience of online or desktop contract drafting software? For example, or

Basically something to put together boilerplate software consulting contracts quickly after a short Q&A. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Contracts are not magic, they are simply a record of the agreement made between two people to regulate their behaviour with regard to some relationship between them. Two things are important. First (at least in Scotland and I suggest most anywhere else) contracts are read and interpreted _literally_; it is the words that count, not the thoughts behind them. Second, you must do what you said you would do and you may expect the other person to do what he says he would.

The problems come when one thing is written down, but another thing is done. Using 'boiler plate' is not necessarily a good thing; you need both to understand what it's saying and be prepared to live by it. Understanding is the key. If there are aspects of the proposed (contracting) relationship that you do not understand (assignment of copyright for example, or moral rights, or limitation on liability or ....) then you really do need to find a lawyer and have him not only write the boiler plate, but also explain it to you. In fact you should insist on the explanation. If, on the other hand, you are happy with the proposed contract, then just formulate it as simply as you can. Don't get embroiled with issues that you don't fully understand; if you are worried about, say, liability, then get advice.

My suggestion? Speak to a lawyer.

Wednesday, June 2, 2004

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