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Re: Professional Employees and Works for Hire

by mpeppler (Vicar)
on Mar 20, 2002 at 23:12 UTC ( #153164=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Professional Employees and Works for Hire

I find this completely incredible.

If I read your post right it means that if you write a novel in your free time the royalties from publishing that novel are due to your employer.

Or does this only pertain to things you do that can be related in some way to your work?


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Re (tilly) 2: Professional Employees and Works for Hire
by tilly (Archbishop) on Mar 21, 2002 at 01:34 UTC
    It is not exactly as simple as I laid it out in my post. Were I in a different state, or were I doing something in my spare time that in no way related to what I was employed to do, then my situation would not be entirely clear-cut. Talk to a competent lawyer for details, and be aware that details sometimes are going to include words like "might" and "maybe".

    Incidentally, this is my last post to PerlMonks for a long, long time...

      As a professional, I was disheartened and angered to hear that your company could be so short-sighted as to threaten you with this, and it made me concerned regarding my own situation and that of the countless others that post here, for whom programming may be part or parcel of their jobs.

      As one who has has been lucky enough to benefit from your wisdom and experience, both from your responses (to posts and directly) and from reading your posts on other topics, I was deeply saddened for you, and for the loss (I hope only temporary) to the community of your insight.

      I understand your reasons, though, and I truly hope that the "long, long time" is not so long as you fear. I will look forward to the day when once again we may enjoy enlightenment from your presence.

      ( #377 of a thing to celebrate 50th post considering. *sigh* )

      Well I just want to say thank you. You're contributions here have been immensely helpful and informational. Good luck with your situation and hopefully you'll be gracing us with your presence again soon.


      "To be civilized is to deny one's nature."
Re: Re: Professional Employees and Works for Hire
by growlf (Pilgrim) on Mar 21, 2002 at 13:30 UTC
    Unfortunately, in most states, the contract is left to determine the level of this "relation" to work. Meaning that if you sign a contract (such as it sounds like Tilly has so unfortunately done) it can define "works" extremely generally, yes - almost everything you do CAN be deemed as "theirs". This sounds preposterous, but it is sadly true.  The best thing is to read those contracts very carefully or have your own lawyer look at it before signing, as I do now.

    This is a point of law I have had a run in with myself not to long ago, with a company in Portland Oregon. For me, the final result was - I walked off, left my hard work behind and went to new pastures - because I lacked the cash/desire to fight it, and had done a similar "my really bad".  Since then, I have found that most employers know they have you at a disadvantage and will press the issue of allowing them this feudal "right" of choice over your creations - or deny you employment.  I think that some legislature to prevent such bullying is needed, and have written my congress-people concerning this. However, I think it will take a mass outcry before anyone really takes it seriously.  Till then - read carefully, push back as much as you can on the issue and find a balance of earning a living and keeping your freedom of creation.  Perhaps, write your own congress people with your fears and add to the urgency for them to listen

    Tilly - I really feel for you man.  This sucks bad - and it sounds like you are even more entrenched than I was and cannot extricate yourself with out extreme cost.  This frustration must hurt terribly - I wish there was something we could do for you.


Re: Re: Professional Employees and Works for Hire
by Anonymous Monk on Mar 21, 2002 at 02:32 UTC
    Nope. Take a look at most intellectual property agreements out there, and you'll see that employers gain the right to *any* and all "inventions" you may come up with when employed by them. I count my lucky stars that the company I work for (Mitel, formerly E-Smith) has a proviso in their Agreement that excludes any Open Source development work I do. Quite forward-thinking.

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