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LinuxNews.com: Sanity Clauses: the OSDA Initiative Protects Developers' Rights

Nov 28, 2000, 22:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bonnie Greene)

[ Thanks to Bonnie Greene for this link. ]

"Exactly what work of yours does your employer own? A group of system administrators has been working on ways to clarify that issue for computing professionals who also work on Open Source projects in their spare time. The fruit of their work, released this Monday, is itself Open Source."

"The Systems Administrators Guild of Australia (SAGE-AU) Monday published a press release announcing the Open Source Developer's Agreement (OSDA), a set of clauses that can be incorporated into an employment contract. "Most open source contributors are not fully aware of the legal ramifications of contributing software to an open source license without explicit permission from their employers," reads the press release. "Many employment contracts currently contain clauses that could result in unexpected legal action from an employer who believes that they `own' the code." Some employers even claim ownership of work done on an employee's own time and on his personal equipment."

"Using the OSDA, developers could specify in their employment contracts exactly which creations of theirs belong to the employer and which do not. With the help of an intellectual-property attorney, SAGE-AU composed four different clauses with varying degrees of formality and restriction, as well as a sample letter of agreement for employer/employee relationships that are already established; the employee can choose the document that best fits his situation."

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