Wednesday, June 12, 2024

If You Don't Trust Me ...

... to keep actual confidential material actually confidential without a signed non-disclosure agreement,  you don't trust me, period.

And that's fine. But let's not blow smoke up each others' asses about it.

I don't sign an NDA unless I have a really good reason to do so, for the simple reason that I don't like intentionally leaving trails of legally binding, but highly interpretable, paperwork in my wake.

I would not, for example, sign any kind of general NDA (for example, one covering "any data or information that is proprietary to the Disclosing Party, whether in tangible or intangible form, whenever and however disclosed") for the privilege of doing minor volunteer work on a political campaign. That would produce a situation of continuing legal jeopardy based on two factors: 1) The Disclosing Party's view versus mine regarding what's "proprietary," and 2) The Disclosing Party's willingness and ability to engage in vexatious litigation.

One really good reason for signing an NDA might be substantial money for a job that's narrow enough for there to be little or no question as to what constitutes covered material and what doesn't. Another might be access to important information I find useful and can use, where the NDA covers very specific other particulars that I wouldn't find useful (or at least not so useful that I couldn't do without them) anyway.

To combine the two examples, suppose I got offered $10k to interview, and write an article featuring, some very wealthy and/or influential person whose views I found incredibly interesting ... and the NDA was very specific in that it forbade me to share the exact location of the person's house I visited, or the names of that person's children. I'd gladly sign that kind of NDA for that kind of purpose.

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