Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
We don't bite newbies here... much

Re: Re: GPL/artistic licence issues

by Anonymous Monk
on May 28, 2001 at 17:18 UTC ( #83722=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: GPL/artistic licence issues
in thread Non-Disclosure Legal Fun w/ my ex-Employer

In France, the law about copyright makes really clear that everything you do during the time spent in a company and for tasks that are described in your contract belongs to the company. No matter the nice GPL forewords you may write at the top of your file. As long as you're hired to write programs, all the programs you write during your work hours aren't yours.

I agree, but
As the product I wrote for the company use and modify the LWP which is GPL'ed -> this product is GPL'ed (even if owned by my company).
So I should be allowed (at least) to modify and sell it ?(I should be granted an acess to the source and a right to modify)
In this case how could I be sued for copy ?
Or did I miss something ?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Re: Re: GPL/artistic licence issues
by danger (Priest) on May 28, 2001 at 17:29 UTC

    It is my understanding that the GPL and Artistic licences apply to copying and distributing the "program". I am free to modify perl (or any other module or such licenced software) and 'use' it as I wish (whether I'm an individual or a company). If that means I create a web application based on those modified programs and run it on my server (perhaps charging a fee for usage), I am not required to release source --- because I am not "distributing" the product, merely providing a service (or, as chromatic says: I would only be providing output from a GPL'd program). Once I decide to sell, or give away, or otherwise *distribute* the application itself, then I am bound by the terms of the GPL or Artistic licence (which are different in what they actually allow me to do).

    If you coded programs for "the company", the company (probably) owns those programs. They do not own any of the original open source code that your products were based on (or that your products used) and they cannot restrict your future use of such code (probably stating the obvious here). But, they do own your new code, and any modifications you made to the original code while in their employment. (Note: this interpretation is based on assuming relatively standard employment agreements you likely signed when you were hired). So, yes, they can restrict you from using code you wrote for them (which isn't really yours) to make new products.

    Should you decide to "independently" recreate their modified software you may still have legal problems --- convincing a court that you recreated it independently of your work for the company may prove difficult at best (hard to claim 'clean room' status since you were intimately involved with their project).

      It is my understanding that software licenses currently have a major gap in how they address the right to public performance. Public performance you ask? Well here is a listing of the rights controlled under copyright law. Public performance and public display are listed 4'th and 5'th.

      As noted, software falls in a class of works that is covered under public performance, but this area of the law has not really been explored yet. However it will become increasingly important. For instance one of the key changes that is being looked at for GPL version 3 is the use of public performance to prevent application service providers from using GPLed software without releasing the source to their changes.

Re: Re: Re: GPL/artistic licence issues
by Beatnik (Parson) on May 28, 2001 at 17:30 UTC
    if (you|the company) releases it, it has to be under the GPL (considering LWP is only licensed under GPL, which it ISN'T)... You could then sell it.
    The entire thing depends on weither or not 'it is released'. If the company decides not to release it, there isn't much you can do about it.

    ... Quidquid perl dictum sit, altum viditur.

Log In?

What's my password?
Create A New User
Node Status?
node history
Node Type: note [id://83722]
[Discipulus]: ah thanks.. 1nickt all is well with the new job?

How do I use this? | Other CB clients
Other Users?
Others exploiting the Monastery: (7)
As of 2018-01-19 18:03 GMT
Find Nodes?
    Voting Booth?
    How did you see in the new year?

    Results (222 votes). Check out past polls.