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zorocke
March 28th, 2010, 06:43 PM
I've heard stories of companies such as Microsoft that do not allow their employees to engage in open source or other indie software projects outside of work. I'm curious, is this true and if so how common is this it?

Paqman
March 28th, 2010, 06:45 PM
is this true

Sounds like nonsense to me. How would an employer enforce it?

MichealH
March 28th, 2010, 07:28 PM
Ermmm.... Were talking Bill Gates here :P

Google doesn't stop that they promote that!

Doctor Mike
March 28th, 2010, 07:32 PM
If this was done anywhere in North America there would have been a law suit already...
Most likely someones Internet brain fragmentation.

You can bet that all the major OS players have working distros of Ubuntu and popular Linux being tested for its threat potential. For them to do otherwise would be foolish.

Ubuntu and other Linux distros have a lot of potential and anyone in the game stupid enough to ignore that would be asking for a new job.

paydaydaddy
March 28th, 2010, 07:32 PM
Any use of a linux distro will stay in the system for up to 60 days. The seemingly innocent recreational use of open source is quite often a gateway that leads to hard-core, uncontrollable coding. Microsoft has a policy of random pee-testing to keep open source out of the workplace. An employing testing positive will generally be given a chance of going into rehab as an alternative to termination. Although it is not public policy, it is generally recognized that a recovering open-sourcer is limited when it comes to upward mobility within the company. I hope this helps.;)

Lightstar
March 28th, 2010, 07:38 PM
Yep, when I got hired at bestbuy I was told not to go in ____ store and ____ owned places.

But nobody cares to follow that stupid rule, and even if I cared, would it not go against human rights?

Some companies think they own us because we work for them. They think we don't live outside the office / work space.

Doctor Mike
March 28th, 2010, 08:28 PM
Any use of a linux distro will stay in the system for up to 60 days. The seemingly innocent recreational use of open source is quite often a gateway that leads to hard-core, uncontrollable coding. Microsoft has a policy of random pee-testing to keep open source out of the workplace. An employing testing positive will generally be given a chance of going into rehab as an alternative to termination. Although it is not public policy, it is generally recognized that a recovering open-sourcer is limited when it comes to upward mobility within the company. I hope this helps.;)Any evidence of the least verifiable kind would be needed for me to even entertain your hypothesis. Small companies may do stupid things like that (and get away with it for a time), but any large company foolish enough to do as was stated is not long for the game. The PR value alone would be beyond measure. Vista's rushed introduction is a good example. Vista is currently a viable and usable product, but you would have trouble selling that to anyone.

zorocke
March 28th, 2010, 09:52 PM
I appologize, i don't think i made my question clear. What I had heard of is people that work for these companies don't own the rights to any project they develop while working at the company. For instance if i developed an indie video game during my off time(weekends and nights) while working for a major software company would they claim rights to my work?

cariboo
March 28th, 2010, 10:09 PM
In many cases when you work for a large company you have to sign a non-disclosure-agreement that covers what you can and cannot do.

Many years ago I was involved in creating prototype snail-mailing machines, the agreement specified that even if I came up with a better prototype in my spare time, it belonged to the company.

Frogs Hair
March 28th, 2010, 10:09 PM
Hi,
If you work for a company and agree to such restrictions as terms of your employment , no you can not claim the rights to your own work. In other words read company policies carefully. The catch 22 is that if
you disagree, you will not likely have a job.

Chronon
March 28th, 2010, 10:41 PM
In many cases when you work for a large company you have to sign a non-disclosure-agreement that covers what you can and cannot do.

Many years ago I was involved in creating prototype snail-mailing machines, the agreement specified that even if I came up with a better prototype in my spare time, it belonged to the company.

Yep. Semiconductor companies routinely secure similar agreements.

forrestcupp
March 28th, 2010, 10:46 PM
I've heard of Linux enthusiasts working for Microsoft, so I doubt if they enforce such a thing.

I know someone who is in management for a supermarket headquarters, and there have been people fired for being caught shopping at Walmart.

szymon_g
March 28th, 2010, 10:52 PM
I've heard stories of companies such as Microsoft that do not allow their employees to engage in open source or other indie software projects outside of work. I'm curious, is this true and if so how common is this it?

ah, and people complain that it is Microsoft who spreads FUD...

Chronon
March 28th, 2010, 11:16 PM
szymon_g: Are you denying the existence of non-competition clauses in employment contracts? I'm not claiming they're universal but they seem fairly widespread in industries relating to intellectual property. Of course, I do also know people who write proprietary code for a living and write free software as a hobby.

jflaker
March 28th, 2010, 11:24 PM
I appologize, i don't think i made my question clear. What I had heard of is people that work for these companies don't own the rights to any project they develop while working at the company. For instance if i developed an indie video game during my off time(weekends and nights) while working for a major software company would they claim rights to my work?

ALL lines of code developed during work hours on company owned computers are the sole property of the company......

If you develop software on your wholly owned computer system, that code, by rights of ownership, belongs to you and you ONLY.

If a company were to assert OTHERWISE...they would have to know that you developed code and to do that, they would have to have access to your computer which I am sure you aren't allowing....That would otherwise be known hacking *(Which is illegal) and Intellectual Property theft *(Which of course is illegal)

Unless you live in a country where spyware is mandatory on all computers, there is no way that would ever happen and if it did, that company would likely be sued into the poorhouse.

qalimas
March 28th, 2010, 11:25 PM
I appologize, i don't think i made my question clear. What I had heard of is people that work for these companies don't own the rights to any project they develop while working at the company. For instance if i developed an indie video game during my off time(weekends and nights) while working for a major software company would they claim rights to my work?


Look up the story of Steve Wozniak. When he was making the first Mac, he had to go through the company he worked for first, and presented it as something completely stupid so they turned it down and he got rich off of it.

Chronon
March 28th, 2010, 11:39 PM
ALL lines of code developed during work hours on company owned computers are the sole property of the company......

If you develop software on your wholly owned computer system, that code, by rights of ownership, belongs to you and you ONLY.

If a company were to assert OTHERWISE...they would have to know that you developed code and to do that, they would have to have access to your computer which I am sure you aren't allowing....That would otherwise be known hacking *(Which is illegal) and Intellectual Property theft *(Which of course is illegal)

Unless you live in a country where spyware is mandatory on all computers, there is no way that would ever happen and if it did, that company would likely be sued into the poorhouse.

That seems like a bit of a straw man. They don't have to snoop in your computer. They will assume that you will honor whatever terms are in the contract. If it comes to their attention that you have published work that competes with their business then they may be in their rights to sue you and they will be in their rights to terminate your employment.

It's perfectly possible to write free software on your off-time without running afoul of your employment terms. You should probably make sure that the software is far enough from what you do during the day that it won't constitute a competing product, though.

Edit: I should add that this comes down to business contract and terms vary from case to case. There's no default, AFAIK.

viper250
March 29th, 2010, 12:51 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jflaker http://ubuntuforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=9042133#post9042133)
ALL lines of code developed during work hours on company owned computers are the sole property of the company......

If you develop software on your wholly owned computer system, that code, by rights of ownership, belongs to you and you ONLY.

If a company were to assert OTHERWISE...they would have to know that you developed code and to do that, they would have to have access to your computer which I am sure you aren't allowing....That would otherwise be known hacking *(Which is illegal) and Intellectual Property theft *(Which of course is illegal)

Unless you live in a country where spyware is mandatory on all computers, there is no way that would ever happen and if it did, that company would likely be sued into the poorhouse.


sometimes the problem is that the management of many companies do a lot of illegal acts if they think they can get away with it.
primarily because the subordinates do not report the wrong doing for fear of losing their jobs:-#

Khakilang
March 29th, 2010, 03:09 AM
I believe Microsoft are paranoid about their secret of their software so much so they do not allow their employees to do coding after office hour. Unless there is such contract I think there us nothing to worry about. Beside Linux is one of the competitors so they don't want the open source software to be better than them.

standingwave
March 29th, 2010, 03:46 AM
she was expressly forbidden to use Coca-Cola or any Coca Cola product, ever. As in grounds-for-dismissal forbidden. Sure, it's hard to enforce but if they happen to catch you just once....

Some companies are really anal.

conradin
March 29th, 2010, 04:01 AM
I appologize, i don't think i made my question clear. What I had heard of is people that work for these companies don't own the rights to any project they develop while working at the company. For instance if i developed an indie video game during my off time(weekends and nights) while working for a major software company would they claim rights to my work?

If your work was made using company equipment or software, I would be inclined to think they either own that work, or could claim misuse of company equipment. Both are irrelevant to the GPL development.

In some cases, companies do claim ownership of any and all works their employees create during their employment. In that case it might be best to be quiet while employed. A certain German company I worked for had this stipulation clearly stated in the contract when I started working for them.

swoll1980
March 29th, 2010, 04:08 AM
Many times when people get jobs like this they sign contracts that pretty much make all of their ideas property of the company they work for. Teflon comes to mind. Also I believe UNIX was created by an employee that was on vacation, but bell labs ended up with the ownership rights.

Irihapeti
March 29th, 2010, 04:42 AM
I seem to recall signing a contract that frowned on moonlighting of any sort. I imagine that they didn't want workers going to sleep on the day job.

That was over 10 years ago, so my memory is a bit hazy.

Anyway, it was all a bit academic. I had a lengthy commute at the time, and by the time I got home, I was too tired to want to do anything other than eat and then go to bed. :)

Chris Edgell
March 29th, 2010, 05:00 AM
Any use of a linux distro will stay in the system for up to 60 days. The seemingly innocent recreational use of open source is quite often a gateway that leads to hard-core, uncontrollable coding. Microsoft has a policy of random pee-testing to keep open source out of the workplace. An employing testing positive will generally be given a chance of going into rehab as an alternative to termination. Although it is not public policy, it is generally recognized that a recovering open-sourcer is limited when it comes to upward mobility within the company. I hope this helps.;)

I GOT the satire and thought your post was thoughtful, well-written, and funny.

Your hypothesis entertained me, paydaydaddy.

Tristam Green
March 29th, 2010, 02:36 PM
Ermmm.... Were talking Bill Gates here :P

Google doesn't stop that they promote that!

who hasn't been CEO at Microsoft since 2000, and hasn't even worked for the company since 2008 :|