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NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Furthermore (Score:4, Interesting)

    by chaoticset (2105) on 2002.03.21 20:26 (#6210) Homepage Journal
    The author of said code posted one last time on Monks [dyndns.org] before litigious anuses effectively silenced him.
    --

    ------------------------------
    You are what you think.
  • The Plan (Score:5, Informative)

    by gnat (29) on 2002.03.22 4:55 (#6212) Journal
    Ben's company isn't going to pursue the open source work he's already done. Thus it's a non-issue for Carp and Exporter (and thus this story has a misleading headline).

    I don't think there many people who write open source or free software under an employment contract that actually permits it. This is an issue in bioinformatics as well [genomeweb.com].

    Singling out Perl's Exporter and Carp is like noting an individual raindrop during a deluge.

    --Nat

    • Well, the story's headline does end with a question mark, as I read some of the available information and couldn't figure out any actual resolution; since I and apparently others were confused, I posted it as question hoping that someone would respond with the answer. So thanks. :)

      FWIW, my employment contract not only specifically allows me to work on other projects not directly related to my job, it allows me to use my work-provided computers (one of which must be an Apple laptop!) for these projects. A
      • I wonder a bit about my case. I'm not under a contract at all. I am, however, a "professional" employee (called "exempt," here, because it means I am "exempt" from the "requirement" of overtime pay).

        So as far as I know the only guideline as to who owns my after hours, produced at home, non-work related code is state (Texas) law. Hmmm. I wonder if my telecommunications employer will crack down on my contributions to Lilypond [lilypond.org]? :)

        --
        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • Re:The Plan (Score:2, Informative)

        Of course, our employer is the Open Source Development Network ...

        Ya hiring? *sigh*

        As it happens, I'd have to look more closely for exact details, but I did make it a point to ask just these sorts of questions when I started here. And while my employer (Red Hat, Inc.) is by no means perfect, their commitment to open source is genuine and sincere. They didn't even have a problem with keeping my Perl-RPM [blackperl.com] package under the Artistic License, when they merged it into the main rpm CVS tree.

        --rjray

        --

        --rjray

  • This company deserves a protest! I can see waiting until Ben finds another employer. But there needs to be some economic disincentive for folks doing this sort of thing. It's not quite as easy for people to wrap their heads around as ten years olds in sweat shops, but it still deserves a clear message being sent about what is unethical and unacceptable.

    Also, people need to be made aware of which companies are clueless enough to attempt to enforce these employment contract clauses so we can avoid them f

    • Protest what? What action would you have them take? They apparently said they won't take action against past work, and only prohibit future work. So it is entirely up to him. Of course, his personal circumstances may be such that the leaving the company may not be easy, but still, it is entirely up to him.

      The company should not feel obligated, morally or legally or otherwise, to allow him to continue to do open source work while in their employ. They might have very good reasons for it; since you don'
      • Uhm, why should a company feel that they have any right at all to tell an employee what he can and cannot do in his spare time? This example of "professional employee" goes way too far! It's not like we're still living in the Middle Age!
        • Why should anyone have any right to tell an employer it doesn't have that right? You don't have to sign the contract.
          • Why should anyone have a right to tell a company it can't have people sign a contract agreeing to work for 5 cents an hour? Or agreeing not to complain about being exposed to poison gas? Or promising the company their first-born child?

            Can we really rely on market forces to do everything? Besides, protests and complaints against corporate practices are part of the market environment, too.
            • If your examples had the least bit of relationship with the point at hand, I might feel compelled to respond.
              • I'm sorry, I guess that was overly rude. Still, I can't see a comparison to exploiting people for extremely low pay and putting limits on what you, as a knowledge worker, do with your knowledge. You can go elsewhere. You can not sign the contract. If you are "exploited" it is because you specifically chose to be. These are not comparable situations.
                • Perhaps my examples were a bit over the top. I was reacting to your seeming outrage over the idea that someone would criticize a company for the behavior in question. I wouldn't find it outrageous even if someone suggested making the behavior illegal, but what you seemed to be reacting to was someone simply suggesting that it was immoral.

                  I agree that the examples I gave are much more extreme situations, but the difference seems to me to be more quantitative than qualitative. Demanding the rights to all
                  • I am reacting to the idea that competent adults are expected to be protected from themselves. I cannot see how it can possibly be immoral for me to sign a contract that says anything I produce in relation to computers, while employed, belongs to my company. I cannot see how that is anything remotely abusive or immoral.

                    As to what set you off, I was using the same language as the poster *I* was replying to. "Why should any company feel they have a right to tell an employee" begat "why should anyone feel t