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SubjectRe: Contributing to the kernel while being employed
On Wed, Jul 30, 2003 at 10:13:27AM -0400, Anuradha Ratnaweera wrote:
> Slightly off-topic, but not completely ...
> Before working for a commercial organization, one usually has to sign a
> contract which makes all the work done during the period of employment
> (including innovations, "hobby" coding done during "after hours")
> copyrighted by the employer. This introduces various problems when one
> wishes to do open source development, especially as a hobby.

In California, USA:

There is no such thing as a free lunch, even as an employer.

A clause of that sort it technically unenforceable.

However, due to a broken tort system, there is an indirect way for
an employer to enforce such a clause. However, this same strategy
works whether you signed such an agreement or not and whether
such a clause exists or not, thus this risk isn't directly related
to the issue.

The bottom line being that having or not having such a clause
in your contract won't change your liability (at least in California).

Brian Litzinger
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