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Re: Call for lawyers: GPL Intelectual property protection

I wrote:
> No.  Read second paragraph more carefully:

>  The previous paragraph of this Agreement does not apply to any invention for
>  which no equipment, supplies, facility, or trade secret information of the
>  Company or Client was used and which was developed entirely on Employee's own
>  time, and (a) which does not relate to the business of the Company or
>  Client...

Michael Meskes writes:

> I think you cut it too early. There was a (b) that was or'ed with (a) and
> said something like he may do what he wants with stuff that is really his
> own and not related to any work for M$.

Here is the part I cut:

  ...or to the Company's or Client's actual or demonstrably anticipated
  research or development, or (b) which does not result from any work
  performed for the Company or Client.

This says that if he got the idea from work he did for them they own it
even if it doesn't have anything to do with their business.  Read the whole
thing from the beginning and carefully parse the double negatives.

To be his an idea must:
 a) be developed using nothing of theirs,
 b) be developed entirely on his time, 
 c) not relate in any way to their business, and 
 d) not result from anything he did for them.

It boils down to this: they own all the software he develops while he works
there.  He cannot contribute to any free software project while employed
there without getting a signed release from them.  He should not write one
line of code on his project unless he can get them to waive their rights to

This is why the FSF requires all that "silly paperwork".
John Hasler                This posting is in the public domain.
john@dhh.gt.org		   Do with it what you will.
Dancing Horse Hill         Make money from it if you can; I don't mind.
Elmwood, Wisconsin         Do not send email advertisements to this address.

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