Christopher A. Williams
chrisw01 at privatei.com
Wed Mar 23 13:45:53 UTC 2005
On Wed, 2005-03-23 at 07:31 -0500, Marc M wrote:
> I have a 'technical' question that does not involve technology
> specifically, but I am hoping that someone on the list can help me. I
> have an employment possibility doing Red Hat Enterprise Linux and a
> lot of security stuff. I really want the job but they are making me
> sign this Stalinist contract to the effect that ANYTHING now or in the
> future (thoughts, concepts, software, plans, processes, RECORDINGS,
> images, etc.) -- is THEIRS. You wouldn't believe it if I had time to
> type everything. Basically I am a slave to them from now on.
> That's right, anything NOW OR IN THE FUTURE, on the job or off. So if
> you are configuring/writing/tweaking software all day, one would
> <think> that you would later be liable or subject to just about
> anything they want to claim. Think about it. Who doesn't learn and
> grow from one job to another? Who doesn't apply
> things/practices/habits/processes, from place A to place B?
> I beat out every other candidate from multiple agencies with this. I
> have come a LOOOOONG way in this process with the recruiter and I am
> formulating a letter to the effect of 'I am sorry but I am not signing
> my life away and if it's a dealbreaker so be it'. I also included
> some HUGE info to show that I am interested in 'educating' these
> recruiter types as to the restrictions they are placing on something
> that is suppossed to be 'open'. I am beginning to conclude that some
> people and opportunities are not worth fooling with, since they come
> with more headaches than they are worth.
> Does anyone know a qualified lawyer in the space of OSS that
> understands contracts, employment, and the GPL for starters? If
> someone can represent me in this matter I may actually be able to go
> forward and strike through terms and conditions. And have any of you
> run into similar situations? What did you do? Finally let me
> underscore that this goes WAAAY beyond the typical 'trade
> secrets'/proprietary information type verbiage, which I would consider
> normal and reasonable under most circumstances.
IANAL, but I would look for a lawyer directly in the state you are
signing this contract in. Make sure you understand the laws of the state
under which the agreement is governed. Also, this kind of contract is
absolutely unenforceable in some states - California is one of them.
There, pretty much the only inventions the company can own are those
that are created while on company time or created using company
resources. Apparently, California law also requires that this be
disclosed to you. I know this because I just signed an inventions
agreement when I started a new job and this was included in the terms.
The terms of this contract appear to be way over the top and I'm sure a
good lawyer could shoot major holes in it. I doubt such terms could
stand up in court. Hope that helps!
"If you get to thinkin' you're a
person of some influence, try
orderin' someone else's dog around."
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