[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] copyright

From: John Clark
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] copyright
Date: Tue, 09 Aug 2005 16:46:16 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.7.10) Gecko/20050722

Ben Loftin wrote:

Hi all,

I'm trying to get other people's perspective/experiences on using GPL while working for a company. Upon employment I've signed an IP agreement that has the clause

"Agrees [employee] that the copyright to any copyrightable material generated by the Employee during the course of employment shall be owned by the Company in accordance with established legal precedents in respect of "Works Made for Hire"."

It appears I cannot work on GPL projects unless I get written exemption by employer (not likely) although I will try. Is anybody else in this type of agreement, do you know if you are? Am I misinterpreting and gnuradio work would not count under some precedent in "Works Made for Hire"?

Technically, if you 'use' GPL'd items in your 'company's product, that may make the company liable for the GPL. Hence, some companies disallow their empolyees to use GPL'd software in company products. There's the BSD license, and Net/Free-BSD which does not have the GPL requirements of 'open source'... however, even there, packages acquired which go beyond the core BSD set, may get you into GPL
(* There have been a number of companies in the linux kernel world which have not re-released their soruces, all the while using the GPL software for their company gain. I have never heard of any company being sued over this, and who would take up the
suite... perhaps someone has, but I don't recall such.)

Also, I believe, and this is where a lawyer may be needed, is that the 'work for hire' covers only what you do 'at work', 'on behalf, under the direction' of the employer, or for which equipment or services owned/paided for by the employer, were used by you.

If you have your home PC using your own paid for DSL/Cable connection, etc, your own sofware, your own e-mail account, etc.etc.etc... Then it is yours. Real muddy areas are if what you do 'at work' matches very closely to what you do at home, such as signal processing implementations, the only difference being that at home you used FORTRAN and punch cards, whereas at work you used APL and a modern Cathode Ray Tube
with fancy upper and lower case character keyboard...

Less muddy is if you're a grocerystore clerk, and you develop yet-another-basic-interpreter-that-becomes-the-next-best-thing-since-sliced-bread...

John Clark

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]