copyright and source code 
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 copyright and source code


>>>You don't understand copyright law.  Whatever you *do* doesn't change what
>>>been handed down by the courts and Congress (not to mention the Bern
>>I do, but then we were not mentioning copyrights in this thread before.
>Look at the subject line of the thread.

The thread was if the programmer could be force to remove his copyright
notice and forced to provide source. Since the contents of the contract were
not mentioned, it is not a given that he would have to. The fact is if he
was hired to provide a program, he doesn't even have to generate source to
do so, since he would be providing exactly what was requested. Now if he was
requested to provide copyrightable executables, then that would be another

>>>The process you have described above is a classic "work-for-hire" example,
>>>long as the contract does not stipulate that rights remain with the
>>What has been explained above is far from the norm, it is an example of
>>protecting yourself from the norm.
>There was no protection for the contractor in your scenario.

When you handle a contract in this way to protect yourself from liabilties,
you also give up some of the advantages of having the contractor work under
control conditions, the contractor gains, what you lost, you gain what he

>>Again, we were not talking copyrights before, we were speaking simply about
>>writing a program for a company and if said company had rights to the
>>source automatically.
>Again, copyrights and who gets them is what the thread is all about.

The thread was about if the programmer could maintain his copyright notice,
not if the company would automatically be entitled to one.

>>>The paper publishing industry has long since established what constitutes
>>>work-for-hire and those conventions have been applied to computer contract
>>>work.  That's just the way it is.
>>Actually you are missing something important here that applies strictly to
>>programmers, actually helps your case a little.

Programmers are exempt from many conditions of employment that help
determine if the association between the company and programmer is one of an
employer/employee or company/contractor.

>Okay.  Please point it out.
>>Again no one mentioned applying for a copyright. A lot of code gets written
>>that is never copyrighted.
>All code is technically subject to copyright as soon as it's written, unless
>it incorporates or violates existing copyrighted code.

It doesn't have to incorporate or violate existing copyrighted code to be
subject to copyright. Copyrights by their nature are not necessarily given
for what is obvious. Also since most programs use snippits from many sources
it is entirely possible that the entire finished program may not be
copyrightable because of its contents. Again, all code is not automatically
copyrightable simply because it doesn't violate other copyrights.

>>>Whatever understandings you have with your contractors won't hold up in co
>>>if ever they find themselves facing a lawsuit from you.
>>It does, it has.
>Cite something, then.  This would be the first case I've heard of where that
>happened, whereas every other case that's been made available for evaluation
>has worked against the people who didn't take measures to protect themselves

We were sued because of the boundary violations which determine the
isolation factor of employee/employer versus company/contractor. Such
violations were physical.

>>>Don't confuse IRS contractor rules with guidelines for copyright
>>>preservations.  The two have nothing to do with each other.
>>We are not speaking of just IRS contractor rules, the concept deals far mor
>>than just IRS jurisdiction, I am surprise you don't recognize some of the
>>other reasons such as OSHA. The last one being one of the most important
>>since that is where the liability issues come in. By giving control of the
>>work area to the contractor by a lease and removing access of your own
>>employees from that work area you are limiting your responsibilities for
>>abiding by OSHA regulations involving interaction between your employees an
>>his. However to make this stick, the contractor has to control nearly
>>everything that involves what is now his property.
>This does not impact directly on the topic of the thread.  The issue is
>whether the contractor owns the code.  If the contractor is performing what
>defined as work-for-hire, the contractor does not own the code.

Again it impacts directly since in this case the contractor would not have
been in a work for hire status and since the original poster did not post
the contents of the contract he may not have been either.

>You're trying to be sneaky by changing the conditions of the discussion.
>Either put all your cards on the table (but try to stay in topic), or start
>new thread, or stop posting this nonsense, as you are distributing vague and
>misleading information which could lead others to mistakenly think they don'
>need to protect their rights in future contract negotiations.

I am not stating they don't need to protect their rights. What is nonsense
is that their rights automatically disappear because there are providing a
service for compensation. Many factors determine their status, the written
language of a contract, current and past working conditions, all figure in
to determine what rights to proprietary code exist and to whom.


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Fri, 04 Sep 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

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