[Project_owners] Copyright belongs to employer

HJ bugs4hj at netscape.net
Sat Nov 15 07:59:16 EST 2003

Erwan Loisant <erwanloisant at yahoo.co.jp> wrote:
>Ben Bucksch wrote:
>> I am not aware of such legislation in Europe.
>Even in Europe there can be a problems when writing Free Software in you 
>spare time.
>Usually your sign a non-concurrence clause in your contract, meaning 
>that you can not do a similar job for anyone else than your employer 
>during your contract and maybe 6 months after the end of your contract. 
>Usually this clause is not so strict to make it legal for people to find 
>job in IT after quitting the company, but one should not just switch to 
>the direct competitor.
>That would mean that if you're developping, for example an accounting 
>software at your company, if you develop an other accounting software at 
>home on your own hardware your Free Software will be illegal. At least 
>in France, the law considers that you developped the software using 
>knowledge from your company, this is unfair concurrence for your company.
>I am not sure what it says about using your employer's hardware and 
>So I would give three advices for Open Source developers, at least under 
>the French law:
>- Use your own hardware and software.
>- Don't develop software too close to what you do at work. If you're 
>working on database integration and you're developping an adblocker 
>extension for Firebird, you'd be safe.
>- Let know your employer you're developping Free Software in your spare 
>time, to make sure he doesn't consider you're concurrencing .
>By the way, HJ, can we have more informations about your friends' trial 
>? Was he developping software in the same field than hes company ? Did 
>he intend to make money from hes software ?
>Erwan Loisant - Ph.D. student

No, he is not even a programmer/developer, but his employer used his software, and now they are claiming he has been developing it for the company. The company has the source, and now claims that the license information was added without their permission.


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