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Subject:Re: FWD: What a predicament! From:MichaelHuggins -at- aol -dot- com To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Fri, 01 Mar 2002 12:51:00 EST
That is, indeed, a horrifying predicament, and I am very sorry to see anyone having to put up with what you are going through.
The business and legal issues that strike me from reading your post are as follows:
>it is directly contrary to copyright and intellectual property laws!"<
I can't tell, from your post alone, whether what your company has done really amounts to copyright *violation* in a strict legal sense or whether they are merely trying to adapt, with insufficient scrupulousness about the degree and kind of their borrowing--aspects of a successful product, without technically misrepresenting or misappropriating anything. Excessive copying may be rather shabby without necessarily being illegal. Since you have had repeated conversations with management on this, I am curious as to whether your company's legal counsel has expressed a definite opinion.
>I have had interminable meetings with the VP
and the COO....
>The phone book is open to the employment attorney
In my opinion, it would be at least worthwhile to consult an employment attorney. It would not surprise me if he or she points out that what you believe you know about what your company did may be different from what can be proven in court as to exactly what they *said.* Do minutes of the meetings exist in which this issue was discussed? Do you have written communication acknowledging the validity of your issue but nevertheless directing you to engage in illegal behavior? I would be very surprised if your company has been so reckless as to put themselves in such a position.
No matter what the strict technical/legal issues, it would seem that your company has treated you very badly, and again, I am very sorry for what you are going through. Whether or not there might have been a better way to handle it, it would seem that at this point, no course that you could take is without risk. Again, I would spend an hour with an employment lawyer, tell him or her what you have told us, show all the paperwork you have, and then listen to what he or she tells you about the realistic prospects for a legal action and the likely expense. It may be that this will be one battle from which, however right you are, you may need to make a strategic retreat. Good luck.
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