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    JRM
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    Question Code Property-off hours program?


    I may create a program for work, at home on my own time recieving no pay at all. I would think the code ownership would be mine, but to be clear does anyone know who's property it would be? or would it depend on agreements made?

    Thank you,

    JRM
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    i wrote an intranet package at home for work.

    basically, its theirs - its usually in the contract. i wanted to sell it outside of work, but am unable to do so.

    best thing is to check your contract.
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    JRM
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    At work I only do Web design, I would be doing an application. Also I have done other programming but not for work, I guess that doesn't count, It was for contract work. Kind of dumb, if I spend my personal time doing something it should be mine and I am kind enough to give a free copy to my employer.

    I don't think there was about it, I don't remember, would a no compete contract be the same?

    Makes it near impossible for a programmer to sell any of their 'Home' Programs, unless they don't do it for their employer.

    If that makes any sense....

    Thank you,

    JRM
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    Check with Human Resources re: Intellectual Property Rights. Many companies now include the clause that states that ANYTHING you create while on salary becomes the property of the company. This is because many companies believe that once you are on salary, you are ALWAYS on the clock regardless of whether you are home or not.

    If you are not salaried, just make sure to copyright your shiznit.
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    JRM
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    how would I copyright something? I am not salaried.

    JRM
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    oops
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    Well hmmm, depending on the application you are writing you have a couple of different avenues.

    You're basically going to want to check out patents and copyrights. Depending on what you are working on, you will choose one avenue. You should really talk to a patent attorney (I know, it's expensive to talk to an attorney, but this is one thing you don't want to skimp on...) and he will guide you in the right direction.

    The easiest way to explain it here, is you can copywrite an 'idea' and patent the actual 'code' of the program - well, I know that isn't a sufficient explanation, but that's why you're going to see an attorney right?

    Also, remember that with copyrights, the code is immediately visible to the public for everyone to see. With patents, the default is 17 years before anyone can see your patent record. I always recommed that if you are going to COPYRIGHT, you want to pick apart your code and find the FUNDAMENTAL part that ties the whole thing together, and not copy the ENTIRE code, just that one fundamental part. That way, people can see that one important part (and it's copyright) but not your entire code.

    There is also the cheapie way: flowchart your program, put the program on a disk and write a prospectus about the program. Then, put it in an envelope, then in a bigger envelope, and then in another envelope, and seal all of them. Make three packages with copies of all of this in it. Then mail one to yourself, one to a family member and one to a friend you trust dearly, and tell them not to open it. Then take your package when it arrives in the mail, and put it in a safe deposit box. THEN, take the box key and mail it to yourself.

    The idea is that if it ever comes up in court, you have AT LEAST one package with your program, sealed in a mailed envelope, with the exact postmark on it. In this way, your "copyright" date is the postmark date when you take it to court, and whomever STOLE your program will have to prove that they thought of it BEFORE the postmark date, which nobody can ever prove.

    The trail of postmarks on the letters is good enough for court, apparently. I do this for everything I create.
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    JRM
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    Thank you Magna27!

    Very helpful

    JRM

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