Re: About proprietary writing samples

Subject: Re: About proprietary writing samples
From: John Root <jroot -at- publisys -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 02 Aug 2002 14:32:46 -0700

Some additional thoughts on an already overworked topic.

There is a distinction between ownership rights (ie - copyrights) and

Assuming you've signed an agreement that grants your creative rights to the
employer (ie - work for hire), then it's true that you have no claim of
ownership to what you write. You are also not free to reuse or resell that
material for commercial gain. However, copyright laws do not prevented a
writer from showing the work to someone else as an example of their work.
This is considered fair use.

However, if the document is considered confidential, meets the test for
confidential information (ie - is not freely or commercially available), and
you've signed a confidentiality agreement, then I would suggest that you
need written consent to show it to someone.

IMO, a lot of companies try to classify everything they do as confidential
even though it doesn't meet the test. It's a little like saying my phone
number is confidential because I say it is, even though anyone can get it
out of the phone directory.


On 8/2/02 12:46 PM, "Tuples -at- aol -dot- com" <Tuples -at- aol -dot- com> wrote:

> In a message dated 8/2/02 4:43:55 AM Mountain Standard Time,
> gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com writes:
>> A company cannot prevent you from practicing your
>> trade. That's would be a violation of federal
>> interstate commerce laws. If samples are needed to
>> practice your trade and you take reasonable steps to
>> ensure the material does not divulge any confidential
>> information - then you're fine. Nobody will think less
>> of you.
> Perhaps, but all my docs were considered property of Palm, Megahertz, 3Com
> and USR. They were created in their facility, using their equipment, printers
> and they paid me by the hour for their creation.
> They belong to them, not to me.
> Some people do not understand that what they write might not belong to them.

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