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Re: SCO identifies code?

On Mon, Aug 18, 2003 at 09:33:03PM -0400, Bijan Soleymani wrote:
> What's more extreme is the view that *any code* you write while being
> employed by them is their property. Even code you write in your spare
> time. I mean I think to some extent this can be defended especially if
> it's in the same field. Because you could slack off on your real work
> and do your version of the thing on the side for profit.
> Example the guys working at ebay start their own auction site (in direct
> competition with ebay) on the side and spend their spare time working on
> that. How moral is that? I mean that doesn't even have to do with
> copyright so much as common sense.

I can see where if you hire someone to create something for you, and you
pay them to do it then it's yours.  People commission artists all the
time for private work.  Clearly, there should be a way to protect your
investment in development.  As Ebay you wouldn't want to pay programmers
to develop your code and then allow them to take that and compete.  Not
very fair competition.

Unfortunately there's a lot of gray area.  Programmers develop tools and 
idioms for doing common tasks.  Clearly that's something that belongs to 
the individual programmer and not the company.  If you work for one 
company developing some network code, you will likely use the same 
methods writing another program that is also network aware. 

You can't train someone to be a chief for your restaurant and not expect
them to go on and cook in other restaurants.

What bugs me about SCO's claims is that, at the OS level, there may not
be that many different ways to do things -- especially when talking to
hardware.  So code may look similar and thus some jury might see it as
the same.

> I mean copyright law may be evil, but at least it's consistent. (It
> looks out for the rich guys hiring people to write software.)

I thought it looked out for the lawyers.

Bill Moseley

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