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Re: Design vs. Implementation

From: Don Parris
Subject: Re: Design vs. Implementation
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 14:12:19 -0500

On Fri, 25 Mar 2005 01:47:48 -0500
Barry Margolin <> wrote:

> In article <>,
>  Don Parris <> wrote:
> > I just want to clarify my understanding here.  If this bit confuses you,
> > please be patient with me - I might be the one confused. ;)
> > 
> > I have a database design - no code yet.  I need to determine whether the
> > GPL will be appropriate or not for this situation.  The GPL is my
> > preferred license, but it may not be appropriate in this case.  I assume
> > that the GPL would only apply to the actual code, and not to the design
> > of the database
> IANAL, but I believe that's correct.  The GPL is enforced by copyright, 
> and copyright only applies to code, not the ideas that the code 
> implements.
> > itself.  If this is true, then it might be possible to offer a GPL'ed
> > implementation and another implementation under a different license.
> You can even do that with the *same* implementation.  You can license it 
> to one party under the GPL, and license it to another party under a 
> different license.  Each party would be obliged to obey the license they 
> received.
> > I designed the database at home, but want to have the opportunity to
> > implement it at my job, which will require the use of MS Access.  If I
> > could offer the back-end using PostgreSQL or MySQL (or something
> > similar), and then let them build a front-end using Access, that would
> > be different.  I do not foresee that happening any time soon.
> > 
> > I will have to create the complete database using MS Access for the job.
> > 
> > The home-based version would use one of the free/open source databases. 
> > Any input is welcome.
> You'd better confirm with your employer that the code you wrote at home 
> is yours to do with as you wish.  Many employment agreements have a 
> non-compete clause that says that anything you implement that's within 
> the scope of the company's business belongs to them, even if you do it 
> on your own time.

Thanks for your input.  Given my employer is in the wallboard industry, and
I am designing this for a completely different industry (whose services they
do use), I should think I'm o.k.  Still, I will ensure that I am in the
clear.  Implementing the design will give me two basic lessons: (1) the
feasibility of using such a database on a larger scale, and (2) a better
understanding of the design and development process in a controlled

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