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
utilities.)

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.

Lisa.




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