I said, "I thought, IBM support Open Source right?" his response, "Yes, but that's another team"
I decided to call-off the interview after that.
And it's just frustrating as they try to block it for as long as possibe even if you're not doing IT in your private little business.
1. Would IBM be able to enforce the original contract as it was outlined when they sent it to him? Would he be liable to fraud or other similar charges (for instance if he altered the contract after IBM representative added their signature)?
2. Or would the altered contract stand up in court?
It is a point of amusement to me to see that the receptionist is extremely uncomfortable agreeing to the terms I have come up with in the last five minutes. They don't think it is reasonable for me to expect them to execute the altered contract without consulting attorneys. I point out that five minutes ago they asked me to sign a contract without consulting a legal expert. Their multi-page contract had been painstakingly drafted by a team of expensive lawyers and meticulously tweaked over years. Yet they gave me mere seconds to read it, understand it, and sign it under duress of not receiving medical attention. If they balk at the contract I hand back to them, how can they expect me not to balk at the original contract?
On the other hand, if they refuse to provide medical care because I wouldn't sign away my rights to any photographs that might be submitted to medical journals, they had better be very confident in their lawyers.
Banks, rental agencies, repair shops, etc., on the other hand, can safely refuse my revised contract. Most don't glance at them when I hand them back.
The new contract can be something we collaborate on. Them, their lawyers, me, my lawyers, the whole happy family. We can take four or five years to do that. I'll pay them when we sort it all out.
Or... they can accept my thanks for sewing my toe back on and bill my insurance.
Either way, we are on much more equal ground after the fact.
The protagonist took the threat very seriously (as he should have) and in a later interview to banki.ru (i.e. banks.ru) said that he was fleeing the country to a destination he preferred to keep secret. Reason being the precise "4 years" that was used. Not 2, not 3, not 5. Meaning that the CEO had already made "arrangements".
Then 2 days later there was an article that both him and the bank have reached a peaceful resolution and were recalling all mutual lawsuits.
Essentially: if IBM wants you thrown in jail, you will be thrown in jail for this. Have fun in court.
I am pretty sure this is the standard practice at all large companies, at least in the US. Small companies may just not care too much, but even at a small company if your management notices you might have to choose between that and your day coding. I wish it was not like this, but to me this is at least somewhat justifiable.
Much worse is the desire of most employers to control everything you do, including your work on open source project off hours. Want to fix coordinate computation for an open source satellite sim? Call the lawyers first. Lead a robotics club at a high school? Check with the management. IMO many employees do it anyway and hope to not get called on this, but this is formally going against the contract.
For game related things you could list them as existing inventions when joining. So you can carve out exceptions. Which is common with game companies.
I would never agree to those terms and strike them out. That's ridiculous.
Focus is a big deal. Doesn't make it right but it's the only business justification I've ever heard that actually seemed legit.
At the same time, there should be an expectation of compensation to give something like that up.
I've routinely done this with every contract I've ever signed. Nothing gets signed without legal scrutiny on my part and it never will; and I've quite literally never had a potential client or employer balk at this.
All of them have agreed that my amendments have been quite reasonable - and that includes scrubbing through any sections that prevent me from working for other clients or writing my own projects, commercial or otherwise.
Ensuring a contract is fair and equitable is part of doing business. There is nothing wrong with this. When you work for a company, you are still an autonomous person with your own agency. Any company that seeks to deny that agency don't deserve your employ.
Any reasonable and honourable company expects you to review contracts and amend them. You shouldn't feel bad about doing this. Nor should you feel coerced by the fact that they have given you a one sided contract. Make it equitable.
I don't care if you're IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook or God almighty, himself. If you choose to attempt to quell my agency, our relationship is done. I will not be denied my agency and neither should anyone else.
Those companies that over-reach in a bid to control their employees are unscrupulous. This is the same kind of toxic behaviour that people seek to avoid in their relationships, yet somehow they're quite willing to live their life working in relationships like this... I don't understand the double standard.
I've heard soooooo many people say that "contracts are just standard paper and if I rock the boat I won't get the job."
Don't be bullied into signing a contract because you feel like you don't have any other option.
Contracts are not "standard paper," they are legally binding documents that seek to limit your behaviour. Don't let any employer reach outside their jurisdiction and into your personal life. Ever.
How do people do this these days? Virtually everything I sign these days from my employment contract to my lease to the vast majority of the paperwork for my mortgage was all signed electronically. There's no apparent mechanism for redlining sections when e-signing.
If they want your business, they will make concessions to win that business.
If they don't allow for this, then you need to be the one to decide if you still want to do business with them. I sure wouldn't. I'm not signing for anything that gives away my rights.
Disclaimer: Red Hat employee (at the moment)
It's also how we were able to spin out our company and raise VC on something inspired by experience, if not using the same code, as what we worked on internally. Having one of the Red Hat founders as our investor helped, but I just loved this attitude of "go build something awesome and keep in touch".
I hope your transition goes well!
So...not completely true. There was that one memo-list thread last year where someone complained loudly that they were not allowed to work on an intentionally competing solution and repo, even if it was on their own time.
> In Italy all work produced off hours as subordinate is intellectual property of the employer by default unless you sign off a release form for each of them.
I'm pretty sure that will not hold up in court if you go high enough (e.g. European) as it would impede self determination.
It's probably the article he has written I disagree with the most as there is a simple way to deal with this; be very clear about the projects, code and designs the employee works on each month and sign them over as they are delivered. That way the employee's own work will be clear should there be any legal wrangling. This could be done by a status in Jira for example.
If you're able and willing to code in your off-time, you should be doing it for the good of the Company. /s
What happens if you create something patentable in the eve information related to your employer's business, maybe even to your project. Can you patent it yourself and then collect royalties from your employer?
What happens if you infringe Copyright on a competitor on your GitHub project, where your GitHub profile also says where you are working, can the competitor distinguish wether it was you personally or as part of work?
For creative work it is tough to fully distinguish between work and leisure time ... some companies deal with this better though, than others.
In these civil suits, the one with the most money wins, so you would still lose even if you indeed solved the problem after you left.
No need to defend those huge corporations. They're perfectly capable of bribing officials to screw over employees all by themselves.
The specific problem seems to be about patents and trade secrets. If a contract covered those two things well, would an employer have legitimate cause to push further than that?
A good solution is hard.
Secondly most IT companies have 'innovation participation' programs that want to have first dibs on all your creative ideas, whether it's on the clock or off.
Thirdly, in an industry with very low start-up costs (all you need is a computer)and high competition for talent, even the potential threat of a former employer claiming IP over your new business can be a potential deterrent that nudges people into just not do it.
It’s purely to help themselves.
Excuse me, what the f...?
1. To make significant profits, we need to sell services on top of our software products (this is essentially GBS and their "strong" sales people)
2. To make very good profits, we need to make highly customizable software (for example AI and BI offerings).
3. To make even more profit we need to make sure the software is tuned to the hardware we make.
If one of those weakens the entire IBM portfolio and profits weaken dramatically.
Here's problems in last 7 years tho:
1. People moving to the cloud so the hardware business flatlines.
2. Because people moved to the cloud they found replacements to IBM software.
3. At the end of the day IBM is forced to deliver professional services on top of other companies' software and hardware (and services employees are not cheap).
At some point the IBM execs must have had an epiphany that their AI offerings don't sell because they don't have a platform that sells other commodity cloud services on top of which AI components can be sold as high-priced addons.
So thus IBM decided to do what it does best --- take control of the entire stack.
With this acquisition IBM has the potential to become a next gen. cloud vendor. For example IBM has been trying to sell Bluemix as a hybrid PaaS/IaaS but haven't been very successful. The engineering team in Bluemix is weak and one way to really up the ante is getting access to top talent in the industry to do this (CoreOS team, Openshift.io team, linux kernel devs, distributed storage devs).
Let's take reality, RedHat is still a small player compared to Amazon, Microsoft or Google. They don't have the bandwidth to compete on all the additional hosted services offerings. By partnering with IBM, they get access to IBMs entire suite of enterprise customers and hosted products, making them a serious competitor to the 3 big players instead of being a "me too, cloud". They could make it big together, looking optimistically. But it's on IBM to not screw this up.
I think a lot of readers probably don't understand what that line means. Even if the C-suite at RedHat did not want to do this, they have no choice. Shareholders can riot and oust you(executives) for not taking what they consider to be the "best deal"(and this is one heck of a deal). Long story short, even if you don't want to sell - once the price is high enough, the shareholders will force you.
.. they probably though the price right now is better than what they would get in 5 years.
That $120 was really high for redhat, who just crossed the $100/share price last year. (unless you count year 2000/dotcom-IPO-madness) RHT's market cap was previously $20B.
That's not weird. It's a bit much as these things go, but 20-30% over the share price would not raise any eyebrows.
- kernel development
- JBoss (I know HN hates Java, especially Java EE, but it was and is an important factor in enterprise OSS adoption)
- Ceph, Gluster
All these are in danger, not just RHEL. I don't know about any other company that is large, successful, focuses on the enterprise and absolutely behind OSS. Canonical is way behind Red Hat in terms of revenue (1/20).
Canonical, for example, has a number of proprietary solutions built around their core OSS stuff, so they function as an open core business. And they're not doing anywhere close to as well as Red Hat does.
Nowadays, yes. SUSE Studio was the main proprietary thing we had in recent memory, and it was sunlit a few years ago with KIWI being its successor.
As far as I know, everything we develop is free software. You can get the full sources for any package in SLES or openSUSE (which isn't really SUSE but SUSE engineers work a lot on openSUSE) using zypper.
Personally, not only is everything I work on free software, I also exclusively work upstream-first (and I maintain several upstream projects like runc and some OCI projects). To be clear, this is not a company-wide thing -- many of my colleagues do not consistently contribute upstream -- but regardless all of our products' sources can be downloaded under free licenses. In fact you can get the sources from OBS (it's what openSUSE Leap is directly based on).
Now, there are some things that we distribute which are proprietary to certain customers (think flash or the NVIDIA drivers), but these are mostly because customers pay us to repackage other peoples proprietary code. We don't develop them. Personally I'd prefer if we didn't do this, but it is a very small part of our business.
I know there are plenty of others like that, as well.
Then CentOS would the community gratis version of Red Hat.
Fedora - Community Innovation
RHEL - Commercial Production
CentOS - Community Adoption
I very much doubt these 2 are in any danger. In fact, I'd say these are the golden eggs IBM wants.
Yes, OSS as a concept can survive only on gratis work. However I'm not sure the portfolio of projects supported largely by Red Hat maintainers could. If maintainers are forced to start walking as they did with Oracle I expect to see quite a few projects fall into disrepair.
Update: Near as I can tell the acquisition completed in March/April.
In progress greenfield projects with no obvious monetisation are just the sort of thing that gets cut in this sort of merger, after the assurances that redhat will be run as a completely independent unit are forgotten and a new manager comes in looking to trim fat.
I use coreos and am now very concerned about its future.
I’ve been following that work with interest.
Red Hat could suddenly decide they want to support Btrfs
Red Hat won’t be deciding much about anything after the merger goes through. I sincerely hope you’re right though and it survives and makes money somehow.
It’s possible they don’t want to. But they will.
It seems like a fair % of SVers haven't had the pleasure of working for one of these Kafkaesque giants. They operate on dream logic and risk aversion.
In 2013, OpenStack felt like the "new Linux"
Doesnt Microsoft tick all those boxes? Even if they aren't exclusively an open source company, they are "absolutely behind OSS" if you go by how much open source code they have contributed.
Their stupid boot loader still ignores any other operating system for god's sake.
Kudos to people at Microsoft's Marketing and "developer relations" department who won the hearts of developers by allowing TypeScript and VSCode to be FOSS. Suddenly MS is "Absolutely behind OSS".
Microsoft has been one of our best partners, including for the open source software we run, especially since Azure became their mission.
IBM has been one of the worst, so bad that I’d dread making any deals with them ever again.
I wouldn’t say MS is fully behind OSS though, they contribute a lot these years, but their main goal is still to sell you Azure. I think they won the hearts and minds with .Net core though, I mean VSC is the best ide and typescript is typescript, but the future of a lot of web programming lies within .Net core.
Everywhere else RedHat/Jboss won the game and is being replaced by new JWM languages rather then node or .Net though node hides in strange places like the latest SAP framework.
Frontend/native .Net apps are fastly becoming extinct.
MS pretend love for Linux is more an acknowledgement that no one wants dotNET on IIS or anything windows centric in the cloud than any genuine love for Linux so they kind of have to pretend to like Linux workloads and unix tools if they want azure to be more then an niche product.
And by Java I really mean Java, with alternative languages being done by clever consulting companies, which sometimes I get to rewrite back to Java.
We used to see a lot more of it from our suppliers, but it seems to be rapidly going extinct. Possible because there just aren’t a lot of JBOSS developers/maintainers in general.
I am coloured by my environment of course, but I do work in software cooperatives with 97 other muniplacities, as well as a few European communities and I don’t see anything to indicate that .Net, JAVA and PHP won’t remain the dominant techs in Europe for the foreseeable future.
I like node.js, I use it for hobby projects and I genuinely think graphql is a lot better than rest APIs (and there isn’t a graphql adaptation for .Net that isn’t bad), but I just don’t see the adoption anywhere outside of what you hear from American startups.
And again, I didn’t say .Net would rule all web development , I said it would be important, and if the European public sector continues to run on .Net then it’ll continue to be a billion dollar industry.
I work on legacy platforms so I know there is good money in dead technology. But that don’t make it the future.
I just don’t see any legacy codebase being rewritten as dotNET and a similar amount of new greenfield dotNET projects as new Perl project being launched due to NETs heritage as a windows component.
There is one fullstack JS job. Three JBOSS jobs and six DJANGO jobs.
This isn’t unique in Europe.
How is that, really?
The core tech behind these is in 95% of the cases either .Net or JAVA.
I didn’t say all, but I frankly think it’s obvious that .Net will play a big part of web development future, considering how big a part it already plays today and considering how Microsoft is moving it forward in all the right ways.
That trend is going to continue, specially considering WebAssembly.
I mean, what you're claiming "will emerge" is already there in form of Typescript, Node, React, Webpack etc and has a pretty good traction.
I mean, I can go on job databases or LinkedIn right now, and there isn’t a single full stack JS job available in my entire country. There is a lot of JS including jobs of course but they all require you to also/mainly do C#, JAVA, PHP or Python because JS is almost exclusive used on the frontend.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like the JS environment. There’s a reason we moved to it, but it’s not like it doesn’t have its flaws either.
I think WASM will absolutely change web development, but I think it’s already made it to the is, I mean, we’re launching our first minor Blazor app this week, and it’s something we typically would’ve build with vue and graphql Apollo, but now it’s all C#.
The world of enterprise typically moves slow though. We’ve recently bought an on boarding system that’s made with web forms for instance. You may laugh at that, but the truth is, at least in my part of the world, that JS hasn’t seen that much adoption outside of hobbyists. Eventually these companies are going to upgrade their client sides, but would you pick modern JS or full stack C# if you were coming from web forms? Hell even if they go vue, react or angular chances are they’ll still use .Net on the backend, as that seems to be the trend pretty much everywhere except for us.
I cannot speak to the whole industry as I moved to the states a year ago and my view is quite limited. But for sure Node has a lot of traction and usage in here.
However, generally, I feel developers live in their own echo chambers. For example I personally am very much connected to JS people and Linux/Open Source people. I rarely meet any ASP or Java based stacks.
I think it also depends on who you are developing for. Governments and enterprises for sure use more Microsoft or Java based solutions while startups and private companies are more "bleeding edge".
So to answer your question, I think you're right. If an organization is using WebForms, their most probable choice for upgrade is the newest offering by Microsoft. That's where they have already invested it. collectively.
But other stacks have a lot of users too. And they are not going to switch to .NET even if it becomes FullStack.
This Google Trends results  are interesting. Not sure if they tell us anything meaningful or not though.
We’re part of several muniplacity driven OSS communities though, where we buy OSS development from small startups and take ownership over project management as well as the codebase.
None of the startups are big on node.js, it’s nostly python, .net, java or php because that’s what they teach at the universities and it’s what they work with in their free time.
I think the node.js environment is great, like I said, but I don’t think it really has much adoption in Europe.
The technology is flawed in my view, but it does work and has no active js development needed.
Note again: you can, but you don't have to.
Also, while their engineers are certainly smart, their software seems very crusty (the down side of infinite backwards compatibility) and usually doesn't play well at all with existing open source software. Thus: Mostly useless.
All large organizations have a decent amount of bureaucracy around copyright and IP, but the difference is good ones make it easy and straightforward for employees to go through that process.
Google, for example, has a well-documented and clear process for contributing to open source software (both in work hours and in personal time): https://opensource.google.com/docs/patching/
It's not entirely unreasonable - imagine someone in Biochemistry developing some drug using University labs etc. and then turning around and selling the formula to a private lab.
But it's the petty bureaucratisation which is infuriating. (And usually the people making the decisions aren't practically qualified.)
To elaborate, even if GP developed code as part of a GPL project, the copyright owner could prevent him/her from distributing that code to anyone else, whether that distribution occurs under the GPL or any other license.
I have a friend who went to Utah for his bachelor's in CS.
And yes, it's outrageous.
It's harmful for open source, and a terrible situation that's not to anyone's benefit. I guess US law should make more clear that employers don't own their employees' private work?
The problem as someone else stated above in this discussion is that with a company the size of IBM it is hard to do anything that is guaranteed not to compete with anything they do.
I always imagined it stems from historical experiences where staff ran off with ideas that they were paid to have within the scope of their employment. So perhaps this is the only way employers have thought of protecting themselves against that. Ie., what other way do we have to offer them?
It appears that this is one of those issues that polarizes people very strongly into one of two possible options. My response to the complaints above is usually "tough luck", because I do not see it as my task to ensure that other people cannot cheat. In fact, with today's availability information, I'm certain all those that want to cheat can and will do so easily, no matter what.
This leads me to the conclusion that the fundamental problem is actually the conflation of two very different purposes which are often at odds: teaching and certification. Universities try to do both and it often ends very badly. Certification should be removed from universities and put into separate, specialized organizations.
There are several internal programs at IBM that enable employees to make contributions to open source with very little bureaucracy. Go to the intranet site w3.developer.ibm.com for details.
Or is my understanding of copyright law off base?
How could they decide this if you'd have written the code on a weekend?
At some point software engineering is going to have a union just as a legal defence fund.
Easier said then done.
They're asking you to sign some legal documentation. If you forge a signature rather than getting it signed by your employer, that's fraud. If you create a false identity in order to hide the fact that you have an employer, that's also fraud.
You have exactly two legal (and, just as importantly, honest) options in this situation: Get permission from your employer before contributing, or don't contribute. If you like the project and don't want to create trouble for its maintainers, you will pick one of those two options.
In those cases, your employer would own your contributions and thus you need permission from them to license their copyrighted work (your changes) under whatever the project license is.
But in any case, contributing under a pseudonym is something that you should think about very seriously. This has been done before in the Linux kernel and luckily nobody got sued over it, but it is basically copyright infringement mixed with various levels of fraud and deception. Don't do this to us poor maintainers.
How does your employer own what you do in your free time? AFAIK there is no job contract like that which is legally enforceable. At least in California.
But I assumed that GP was talking about wanting to contribute something they did on work time, not on their own time.
Worrying about these details is the last thing a project maintainer needs to be worrying about. Easier to just require everyone to have a belt, even the ones who say they own suspenders.
Did it cause you some problems later, or?
If that permission isn't secured, though, and the employee has a contract with their employer that signs ownership of some or all of their off-hours work over to their employer, and the employer decides to try and exercise those rights, then it's anyone's guess who the real owner would be. Might vary by jurisdiction. Might be down to whether the open source project can afford to lawyer up in the first place.
Given all that, a FOSS project isn't unwise for asking for a permission slip. You could argue that it's being over-cautious, but that's the project maintainer's decision, and it deserves to be respected.
No, it's not fraud because there's no intention to gain illegal or unlawful gain. It's just deceit.
Source: multiple discussion with GKH.
About 10/15 years ago I used andLinux to have a Linux shell and other apps inside Windows. It was really good and it seems ahead of its time, as it was not virtualized.
For Wine to implement even enough to run Notepad, Wine needs a reimplementation of huge portions of userspace. Of course, this also means it is a little bit of an Apples to Oranges comparison.
Ironically, Cygwin might be closer to "native" than WSL is in some cases.
> Ironically, Cygwin might be closer to "native" than WSL is in some cases.
SQLite, for one. https://github.com/Microsoft/WSL/issues/2395