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...?