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Employment contracts don't dictate what you can write in the privacy of your own home on a non-employer-owned machine and what you subsequently do with it. (Of course non-compete clauses can kick in if you're working on Oracle DB and contribute to Postgres, but there are always other OSS projects where that little restriction doesn't apply.)



The sad thing is man, some DO. I've personally seen contracts with clauses like this:

"Any code, materials, designs, patents, design patterns or other such intellectual property ("IP") created by candidate is automatically and immediately assigned, irrevocably, to Employer upon its creation without further consideration."

The legality of this withstanding, I'm just letting you know, from experience, I've seen this approach in LOTS of contracts. I've learned the hard way that just because something is illegal or unenforceable doesn't mean that a company won't TRY to get away with it anyway. Often times, they do, because "the little guy" doesn't have over $100k to pay for an attorney.


Thanks for the reply, I guess I underestimated the tricks companies try. I'd like to see it get tested in court, I want to doubt they would uphold one's ability to sign off one's brain to someone else. I know schools have similar clauses but they usually specify something like "...created by candidate using school equipment or resources", which is understandable. It's interesting to consider that not specifying means you could create something on Mars and the company would own it.

Anyway, I'll shift my stance to lusis'. My eyes would pop out if I ever saw that in a contract offered to me.




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