On Wed, Mar 10, 2004 at 12:01:23PM +0000, Dave O Connor wrote:
> I wrote the software as part of my work for the company. The company own it.
> I've mentioned it to them, and they seemed roughly approveful of the idea (at
> least, my boss approves, but he's only my boss). My boss wants a nice document
> to sign that basically says "Company A disclaims copyright to Software X
> described here, and Person B (me) claims copyright and ownership)."
Seems pretty unwise, why would they want to transfer copyright to you?
And why would you want ownership of that copyright? Surely the company
should retain ownership of its property (and you might face benefit in
kind problems with transfer of assets like that).
When I approached my boss about licensing, it was just a matter of
asking if the company was willing to license software projects under an
open license. It was something we never had a problem with, but as we
spent more time developing in-house solutions and contributing to major
projects (out of the neccessity to constantly improve our service
offerings) it was worthy of clarification.
I was asked to propose a license (and chose BSD - on the basis that
that's what all of our international equivalents use and is more common
in the academic community) and this was approved by the Chief Technical
Officer. HEANet's policy regarding in-house developed software is that
we will make it available via a BSD-style licence where possible and
appropriate. HEAnet retain onwership and copyright and the license
will say "Copyright 2004 HEANet Ltd." and so on, and we use our @heanet.ie
addresses as contact points.
Paralell to this policy, the corporate mission statement was appended with
a new aim; "Encouraging the transfer of technology from HEAnet to the rest
of the Internet", which reflects the importance we place on sharing
experiences and knowledge and the benifits this brings to all, and this
was ratified by the Board.
So, in summary; I think it's a matter of getting the approval of someone
sufficiently high up the food-chain that they are empowered to make such
a decision and that's it. Who this is may vary from company to company,
in most I would have thought that the CEO or CTO would certainly be
empowered to do so, but in others they may feel that it is appropriate
that the issue be raised with a board of directors, shareholders and so
I would have thought a simple document saying:
"On behalf of X company, [I|We] authorises the licensing of
Project Y under the terms of [insert license here].
Would be enough.
Colm MacCárthaigh Public Key: colm+pgp at stdlib.net
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