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legality of re-using code?

 
 
Nobody
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      08-09-2006
As fellow developers, I'm sure most of you have built a "bag of tricks" or
classes or whatever over the years that are well tested and "bullet proof".
What is the legality of taking such classes with you from job to job? Is
this a "don't ask, don't tell" type thing? the "bag of tricks" in my
question was being worked on long before I joined company X, although
enhancements and additions where done on company X's time as well as my own
time (ie... if I need an addition to my library, I would work on it quite a
bit on my own time) and eventually integrate it into the product, but of
course also spent time on the enhancements on company X's time.

The deal is, the classes really have nothing to do with company Xs product.
Ie. company X does security type software where as my "bag of tricks" is a
bunch of gui support classes. I no longer work for company X as I was laid
off...

Am I allowed to use my support classes else where? as it would take YEARS to
re-write them? the ui styles my library supports are pretty common in the
industry, but if they decided to reverse engineer executables or DLLs, they
would find commonalities.

Just checking on the legalities of this or any such situations... Thanks!


 
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Victor Bazarov
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      08-09-2006
Nobody wrote:
> As fellow developers, I'm sure most of you have built a "bag of
> tricks" or classes or whatever over the years that are well tested
> and "bullet proof". What is the legality of [...]


Better ask in 'misc.legal.computing' or in 'comp.software-eng'. Here
we talk C++ *language*.

V
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Please remove capital 'A's when replying by e-mail
I do not respond to top-posted replies, please don't ask


 
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Daniel T.
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      08-10-2006
In article <jtsCg.832$0F5.588@fed1read04>, "Nobody" <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

> As fellow developers, I'm sure most of you have built a "bag of tricks" or
> classes or whatever over the years that are well tested and "bullet proof".
> What is the legality of taking such classes with you from job to job? Is
> this a "don't ask, don't tell" type thing? the "bag of tricks" in my
> question was being worked on long before I joined company X, although
> enhancements and additions where done on company X's time as well as my own
> time (ie... if I need an addition to my library, I would work on it quite a
> bit on my own time) and eventually integrate it into the product, but of
> course also spent time on the enhancements on company X's time.
>
> The deal is, the classes really have nothing to do with company Xs product.
> Ie. company X does security type software where as my "bag of tricks" is a
> bunch of gui support classes. I no longer work for company X as I was laid
> off...
>
> Am I allowed to use my support classes else where? as it would take YEARS to
> re-write them? the ui styles my library supports are pretty common in the
> industry, but if they decided to reverse engineer executables or DLLs, they
> would find commonalities.
>
> Just checking on the legalities of this or any such situations... Thanks!


We don't know the legalities of these types of situations, that's for
lawyers. However, in every programming job I've ever had, I was required
to sign over all my copyrights to the company. Everything I wrote,
belonged to them...
 
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Nobody
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      08-10-2006

"Daniel T." <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> In article <jtsCg.832$0F5.588@fed1read04>, "Nobody" <(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote:
>
>> As fellow developers, I'm sure most of you have built a "bag of tricks"
>> or
>> classes or whatever over the years that are well tested and "bullet
>> proof".
>> What is the legality of taking such classes with you from job to job? Is
>> this a "don't ask, don't tell" type thing? the "bag of tricks" in my
>> question was being worked on long before I joined company X, although
>> enhancements and additions where done on company X's time as well as my
>> own
>> time (ie... if I need an addition to my library, I would work on it quite
>> a
>> bit on my own time) and eventually integrate it into the product, but of
>> course also spent time on the enhancements on company X's time.
>>
>> The deal is, the classes really have nothing to do with company Xs
>> product.
>> Ie. company X does security type software where as my "bag of tricks" is
>> a
>> bunch of gui support classes. I no longer work for company X as I was
>> laid
>> off...
>>
>> Am I allowed to use my support classes else where? as it would take YEARS
>> to
>> re-write them? the ui styles my library supports are pretty common in the
>> industry, but if they decided to reverse engineer executables or DLLs,
>> they
>> would find commonalities.
>>
>> Just checking on the legalities of this or any such situations... Thanks!

>
> We don't know the legalities of these types of situations, that's for
> lawyers. However, in every programming job I've ever had, I was required
> to sign over all my copyrights to the company. Everything I wrote,
> belonged to them...


What about this whole "prior art" thing some companies make you sign when
they hire you? Wouldn't that imply that if you brought it in and they let
you use it, they have their copy and you have yours and each can do with it
what they please?


 
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Daniel T.
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-10-2006
"Nobody" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> "Daniel T." <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> > We don't know the legalities of these types of situations, that's for
> > lawyers. However, in every programming job I've ever had, I was required
> > to sign over all my copyrights to the company. Everything I wrote,
> > belonged to them...

>
> What about this whole "prior art" thing some companies make you sign when
> they hire you? Wouldn't that imply that if you brought it in and they let
> you use it, they have their copy and you have yours and each can do with it
> what they please?


Don't know, never signed one.
 
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Noah Roberts
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-10-2006

Nobody wrote:
> As fellow developers, I'm sure most of you have built a "bag of tricks" or
> classes or whatever over the years that are well tested and "bullet proof".
> What is the legality of taking such classes with you from job to job? Is
> this a "don't ask, don't tell" type thing? the "bag of tricks" in my
> question was being worked on long before I joined company X, although
> enhancements and additions where done on company X's time as well as my own
> time (ie... if I need an addition to my library, I would work on it quite a
> bit on my own time) and eventually integrate it into the product, but of
> course also spent time on the enhancements on company X's time.
>
> The deal is, the classes really have nothing to do with company Xs product.
> Ie. company X does security type software where as my "bag of tricks" is a
> bunch of gui support classes. I no longer work for company X as I was laid
> off...
>
> Am I allowed to use my support classes else where? as it would take YEARS to
> re-write them? the ui styles my library supports are pretty common in the
> industry, but if they decided to reverse engineer executables or DLLs, they
> would find commonalities.
>
> Just checking on the legalities of this or any such situations... Thanks!


If modern history is any indication then unless you signed something
otherwise then company X owns everything. I remember one case where
the guy had been working on this project for 20 years, signed on to a
company and while working there had a breakthrough, at home, that made
everything he wanted to do possible....he lost his project.

I make sure to have something in writing that says what I work on at
home is mine so long as it isn't part of a product or project for hire
with the company. Of course your bag of tricks thing might be a
problem...the way I would have solved that would be to sell the library
to the company with perpetual upgrading while you work for them. A
special contract just for that thing.

Otherwise, I just figure that whatever I am working on at work is
theirs. I don't try to walk off with it even if it is a generic "bag
of tricks". My generic bag of tricks is technique that I adopt though
I must admit I've only been doing this a few years.

 
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Frederick Gotham
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      08-10-2006
Nobody posted:

> the ui styles my library supports are pretty
> common in the industry, but if they decided to reverse engineer
> executables or DLLs, they would find commonalities.



Then just say that you wrote your own library using the same programming
techniques and so forth...

--

Frederick Gotham
 
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