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Re: (OT) Professional Employees: who owns your thoughts?

by cidaris (Friar)
on Aug 12, 2002 at 18:57 UTC ( #189586=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to (OT) Professional Employees: who owns your thoughts?

When I began work for the company that employs me, we had a very liberal policy. Since the shop was mainly composed of tinkerers and engineers, we didn't want our homebrew Tivo style toys and anything else we cooked up, including programs on our own private sites, to be company property. If you were working, you were working. If you were at home, you were at home.

However, we were later purchased, and things changed.

The parent company attempted to make claims on works I'd done on my own time. I balked. I declined to sign their employment contract, which stipulated any ideas I'd come up with, devices I made, or code I wrote, on my time or theirs, belonged to them. However, they continue to pay me, contract or no, and I continue to show up at 9am every day, and my key still works in the lock.

Will your employers allow you to call their bluff? Only one real way to find out.

cidaris


Comment on Re: (OT) Professional Employees: who owns your thoughts?
Re: Re: (OT) Professional Employees: who owns your thoughts?
by dws (Chancellor) on Aug 12, 2002 at 19:09 UTC
    The parent company attempted to make claims on works I'd done on my own time. I balked. I declined to sign their employment contract, which stipulated any ideas I'd come up with, devices I made, or code I wrote, on my time or theirs, belonged to them.

    You called their bluff. Good for you. If it wasn't a bluff, you'd have heard back.

    Much of this nonesense is thanks to lawyers who're trying to tilt agreements to be maximally advantageous to the corporation. It's easy and inexpensive to thrust a one-sided agreement in front of people. Most people will just sign. If you push back, it's no longer an inexpensive process for them to pursue the issue.

Re: Re: (OT) Professional Employees: who owns your thoughts?
by smitz (Chaplain) on Aug 13, 2002 at 10:05 UTC
    I had the fortune of starting working for a very big IT company, doing hardware support. At the same time, I was still spending personal time developing perl and HTML for friends / my wallet.

    Luckily for me, this was roughly two or three days after tillys most famous node. When the day came to sign my contract, I did something I would have never done otherwise - I read the smallprint. I objected to one particular section related to this thread, Intelectual Property. After a few casual chats with their lawyers, they agreed that the clause was not too important. However, 3 months down the line, the contract is still lying on my desk, unsigned.

    Am I getting payed? Yes.
    Has anyone ever mentioned it since? Nope.


    SMiTZ

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