RE: Article on Contracting vs Employee

Subject: RE: Article on Contracting vs Employee
From: "Higgins, Lisa" <LHiggins -at- carrieraccess -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 11:53:08 -0700

Scottie Lover wrote:
> <...>If I spend most of my evening and weekend hours perfecting a
> generic utility, and then write an article teaching it
> (or, even if I were to decide to market that utility), why should that
> belong to my employer? I was creating and designing applications (and
> writing) long before I joined his company. He benefits by
> getting to use them for free -- and for all the experience I gleaned
> from volunteering so much free time to mastering the program and
> language.

Good point. I guess I was being unnecessarily narrow. Because I'm currently
in a field in which I haven't done much outside my day job, I may have
overstepped. In fact, I've retained rights to generic little tools and
utilities I've written on my own time while I was employed in the software
industry. When I have done this, I've made it clear ahead of time that,
while I would be happy to let my employer use whatever I did, I also wanted
to reserve the right to keep it with me and retain my ownership of whatever
it was. (This has mostly been junky little conversion scripts and macro-type

When I've been in a situation like this, though, I've talked to my employers
about it as early as possible, and they've never had a problem, but like I
said, I haven't written anything earth-shattering in this context. Most
employment contracts I've seen legally give the employer the copyright on
this stuff, so I'd think you may want to address this at the outset.


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