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It’s a Secret

I have been having issues with Non-Disclosure Agreements recently.

One was so broad that showing the NDA to my attorney before signing would have been a prohibited act of disclosure “in the past” at the point of signing.

One defined derivative works so broadly as to have included this article.

Several required me to guess what was confidential.

One defined competitors so broadly as to include 7 entire fields each larger than their field and that they had neither chance nor plan of competing in.

But those aren’t the big problem.

The big problem is that I am supposed to destroy all copies of all confidential data upon request. They are planning to routinely send me confidential data as email and on web pages. They expect me to use standard tools that live on my laptop that create temporary files.

And I do backups. (I hope you also do backups — please make sure that you do backups — this has been a public service announcement.)

How in the world would I ever delete all the copies from all the backups?

Would I need to use a separate computer and a separate email address and hope they never sent anything to the wrong place?

As an advisor / consultant / mentor / confidant / super-hero to multiple companies, how could I possibly make it work?

I suppose I should each of the other advisors who have apparently happily signed these documents. If you have just received a link to this article, perhaps you should consider yourself to have been asked.

Or perhaps this is just Part of The Hazards and I should just presume that I won’t actually get sued. Maybe add a clause limiting the damage to a single cup of hot chocolate. I could use one of those about now.

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?? Have you signed one ?? How do you comply?

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Written by Russell Brand

Russell has started three successful companies, one of which helped agencies of the federal government become very early adopters of open source software, long before that term was coined. His first project saved The American taxpayer 250 million dollars. In his work within federal agency, he was often called, “the arbiter of truth,” facilitating historically hostile groups and factions to effectively work together towards common goals

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