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Let me quite honest and say that if someone Agnes an employment contract, as a developer, that prevents them from writing unrelated code in their spare time or lays claim to any code written outside of the office, that person is an idiot. I'm not a developer and on every company I've been with in the past 10 or so years I've gotten something in writing or marked up my contract/employee agreement stating that in no way does the company have rights to anything I develop on my personal time. I'm fully willing to accept restrictions in specific technologies if it directly competes with the core business of the employer but only under very specific circumstances.

I totally agree with the sentiment here, that such contracts that lay claim to your IP that you develop on your own automatically belongs to the company. I hate that and I've actually rejected offers in the past because of that reason exactly. I also think that if you could get a high profile enough case with that as the focal point, you could probably have such a thing declared illegal, and then establish precedent that could be used to invalidate the whole, "we own you AND your thoughts" corporate thinking. Or so I hope :)

Congrats, you've called everyone working at Google an idiot :-)


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