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Re: SCO identifies code?

On Mon, 2003-08-18 at 19:36, Bill Moseley wrote:
> I assume most here agree it's absurd to think you can't have "free" 
> software?  Isn't that what SCO is now claiming, that US copyright law 
> "supercedes(sic) the GPL" -- so you can't write "free" software?

Welcome to the wonderful world of 'intellectual property' in the US. As
an example here:

My previous employer had a contract provision that stated that any and
all code I write while employed there was owned by the corporation. One
of the things I wrote there was a library for Visual Basic (I couldn't
help it! They made me do it! May RMS have mercy on my soul! :) which
would parse a text box for numbers and arithmetic symbols and perform
the appropriate calculations on it. No one else so much as contributed a
comment to this code other than myself.

Now, if for some reason, unfathomable as it may seem, I choose to write
a program in VB again and I use the same code that I used in the
library, and then release the program under the GPL, I would be in
violation of my previous employer's intellectual property rights and
would, therefore, risk making my entire program 'illegal'.
Theoretically, if I re-implemented that library in say, Perl, I still
MIGHT be in violation. (Thankfully it was all a dirty hack so I don't
have to worry about ever writing something that bad again. :)

IANAL, but this is how I've understood the law and, in particular, how
my former employer would most certainly interpret it.

Alex Malinovich
Support Free Software, delete your Windows partition TODAY!
Encrypted mail preferred. You can get my public key from any of the
pgp.net keyservers. Key ID: A6D24837

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