[TriLUG] Work for Hire (Was: [GoLugTech] legal question)
jbrigman at nc.rr.com
Thu Mar 24 11:52:58 EST 2005
Taurus, I think you have a clear advantage since you are incorporated,
and contracting yourself out. I believe it's tougher for those of us who
are individually, and without incorporation, job hunting the body shops.
The typical document I've run into isn't as all-encompassing as Marc M.
spoke of: I (and I figure, most of us on the list) normally apply for
traditional system administration positions in which neither the
employer nor I expect to be writing something extensive or original
enough to merit ownership. The last document like this that I signed
covered only work done while in the employ of the company, and done on
company resources. They didn't push a non-compete clause or care what I
did outside work.
The one time I did run into this problem, it was with a headhunting firm
wanting to farm me out to another company. They used the much more
restrictive language, much like Marc M spoke about earlier. I attempted
to modify and they just "went away", ending communications with no
further progress on the deal.
Fortunately for myself, later on I found that this wasn't a firm I
wanted to be associated with anyway. Seems that the entities pushing the
more draconian language (that likely wouldn't hold up in court) are
somewhat "grey" and skirting the ethical borders of business anyway.
However, I'll bet there are plenty of companies in the US employing
skilled admins or programmers to write code based on GPL'ed software who
think they own it, but in fact do not. Whether anyone cares or not
probably doesn't surface until a legal conflict results.
On Thu, 2005-03-24 at 11:14 -0500, Tarus Balog wrote:
> Since a lot of folks on this list consult, I'd like to know if you've
> run up against "work for hire" contracts.
> have to point out that since the work we do is based on GPL'd code,
> they can't "own" it in the traditional sense. I am more than happy to
> offer them the copyright, but I usually get blank stares when I do
> Surprisingly, I am usually able to get the client to drop the
> paragraph. The PITA part is that it adds about a month to the sales
> Anyone else run into this, and if so, how do you deal with it?
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