Lindholm’s Law

If you are a software engineer, or in fact any sort of engineer, I strongly suggest you take careful note of what I will call “Lindholm’s Law”:

Never send a recorded communication containing a statement of opinion or decision on an IP-related legal question to someone who is not a lawyer.

Tim Lindholm’s unfortunate statement, contained in an email which was the subject of heavy legal argument in Oracle vs. Google, was:

We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java under the terms we need.

Even though one of the addressees of the email was a lawyer, and even though the email said “Attorney Work Product” and “Google Confidential” at the top, the court ruled that it was not attorney-client privileged, and could be used by Oracle in court. Read why.

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