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[SLUG] Re: Developing FOSS while employed developing proprietary software
- To: slug@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: [SLUG] Re: Developing FOSS while employed developing proprietary software
- From: Matthew Palmer <mpalmer@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2004 22:42:09 +1000
- User-agent: Mutt/220.127.116.11+cvs20040105i
On Thu, Jun 03, 2004 at 09:59:26PM +1000, mlh@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> I think for your boss to take legal action against you
> all the following would have to apply.
I think that *any* of the groups I've made below would be enough to get you
in a whole pile of the proverbial:
> 1. you do the foss work in work hours
Slacking off. Might not be actionable, but it's certainly dismissable.
> 2. you use your boss's equipment
He might get a bit annoyed at your typing over his shoulder. <grin> But
again, misappropriation of company resources is dismissable, and potentially
> 3. development is your job
> 4. you develop similar things
Comes under the general heading of "conflict of interest". Although
restriction of related employment is typically taken as being against the
public interest in cases where someone goes to work for the competition
after leaving a company, the game isn't quite so clear-cut when you're
> 5. it can be proven that it costs the company money (in lost sales)
Depending on how you've managed to lose the company sales, you're definitely
in shaky legal territory with this one.
> 6. the contract is extremely clear
I like to think that if you've agreed to it, you'd be reasonable enough
to stick to your word. That's pretty rare these days, I know.
> 6. your boss is a dickhead
That one, all by itself, is enough to get you sued these days. Any idiot
with the money for filing costs can get you in legal hot water.
 If you were tricked or coerced, you didn't agree to it. That solves
Software engineering: that part of computer science which is too difficult
for the computer scientist.