[FoRK] Drafting employment contracts for free-software authors

Kragen Sitaker kragen at pobox.com
Tue Feb 22 22:42:41 PST 2005


I work for a non-profit; as part of our current reorganization, we
want to hire some free-software (or open-source, if you like)
developers.  In the past, we've found that our "intellectual property
and confidential information agreement" has caused some concern for
free-software developers we've tried to hire, since it provides for
trade-secret protection for things the employee develops as part of
their employment, in addition to the usual copyright-assignment stuff.

We're thinking that assuring people that their work will be licensed
as free software (possibly under some particular license), or that
they will at least have the option to license it as free software
under a license of their choosing, may alleviate this concern.

I'm curious how other employers of free-software hackers have solved
this problem.  The folks I've talked to so far have said they just use
a pretty standard "employer owns everything" agreement.

(I'm sorry if this is a duplicate for you.  I got a lot of great
feedback from asking this question of a more topical mailing list, and
I suspect there may be a little overlap in the lists' subscriptions.)


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