How we no longer own our thoughts
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Thread: How we no longer own our thoughts

  1. #1
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    How we no longer own our thoughts

    I just found this article. I've searched through the forums and nobody seems to have posted it yet.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/7/26627.html

    Everyday the court systems astound me with their unsurpassed ignorance towards the status of the constitution in which they are supposed to uphold. We've fought so hard against communism, but if we remain at this pace, within a few years our own government may resemble the very thing we've feared for so long. Democracy my ass.
    The radiance of ignorace in a world of nothingness and all of this time your pestilence has created nothing but uselessness

  2. #2
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    This is friggin ridiculous!!!!
    \"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.\" -- Dom Helder Camara

  3. #3
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    My goodness, that is unbelievable. I really would like to know how they came to the conclusion that his ideas should be revealed to his employer, cos that's absolutely bullcrap.

    I'm sorry, but I just don't know how the hell your own ideas should be disclosed to the company you work for, that's nonsense. Some court outcomes are just unbelievable, you really wonder what they base their final decision on.

    Anyone agree with the court on this decision? Cos I'd just like to know your thoughts.

    Cheers,
    Greg
    \"Do you know what people are most afraid of?
    What they don\'t understand.
    When we don\'t understand, we turn to our assumptions.\"
    -- William Forrester

  4. #4
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    Be careful to read any agreements you sign when you get hired.
    I think it also entitles them to take your first born son..
    and have sex with your wife.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  5. #5
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    Hehe...yeah, I wouldn't be surprised. Those dodgy *****s.

    Hopefully them WorldCom (and other dodgy companies) executives get exactly what they deserve. Nothing worse then seeing RICH people cheating the average Joe.

    Greg
    \"Do you know what people are most afraid of?
    What they don\'t understand.
    When we don\'t understand, we turn to our assumptions.\"
    -- William Forrester

  6. #6
    AntiOnline Senior Member souleman's Avatar
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    When you are hired into a company, you almost always sign a contract. If you are working as an engineer, programmer, or other creative field, there is normally a portion of that contract that says that anything you design while working for that company is owned by the company. This is pretty much standard, and has been for a LONG time.

    Does anyone remember the story of Apple computers? When Steve Wazniack created the first Apple, he was employed by HP. He had to present the computer to HP, because he worked there. HP obviously didn't think it was worth while, so they signed off the rights to it. Anyway, because he was an employee of a computer company, and he invented a new type of computer, that company owned the machine until they gave it up. This has been a standard policy since the 70's if not earlier.

    In other words, I completely agree with the courts decision. The man signed a contract upon employment. As he said, nothing was written down. If he had been working on this idea for 12 years before being employeed at DSC like he claimed, don't you think he would have had some notes? If he only came up with the last piece of the idea while at DCS, shouldn't he have had the rest of the idea already programmed? Also, and this really makes no sense to me, why, in 1975, would he be working on code to run Mainframe software on a PC, considering PC's didn't exist at the time?????

    From his site... http://www.unixguru.com/
    Mr. Brown had been working on this "idea" since 1975, 12 years before Mr. Brown even became an employee of DSC.
    .
    .
    help companies that have old computer programs where the original source code has been lost or the cost to re-write these programs for modern computers is too expensive....run their computer programs on new inexpensive PCs and/or workstations but do not have the resources to manually convert these old computer programs.
    \"Ignorance is bliss....
    but only for your enemy\"
    -- souleman

  7. #7
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    Rulings like this lend much credence to the belief that "Silence is golden", especially when dealing with corporate America. Were Mr. Brown more skilled in the tactics used by big corporations, he would have had his wife patent his ideas.
    Al
    It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they're out to get you...

  8. #8
    Senior Member problemchild's Avatar
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    A contract isn't really even necessary to lose the rights to your invention. In patent law, there is a long-standing practice of enforcing "shop rights." If you develop your idea on the employer's time or using the employer's facilities, the idea belongs to the employer. But if the employee was hired for the purpose of inventing, then the idea belongs to the employer no matter when or how it was developed.

    The article doesn't say what exactly Mr. Brown was hired by DSC to do, and his web site simply says that his job was not software development "at the time he was fired," the implication being that development may have been his job at some point when he was working on this idea. I would certainly want to know that before jumping to any conclusions. If he was hired as a software developer to work on these kinds of things and then moved to technical support 2 months before being fired, then why shouldn't the employer own the idea after paying Mr. Brown to think of it?

    The article also says that "he thought of some of it outside office hours," implying that he worked on some of it on the employer's time. These kinds of cases are *VERY* fact specific, and there's no way to know from an article like that what all the facts are. And Evan Brown's web site is going to portray the facts in the light most favorable to him, of course.

    In this case, though, the contract he signed "granted DSC rights to anything invented by Brown during his course of work with the telecommunications computer company." I don't know too many ways to parse that language except to say that DSC owns whatever he invents in that time.

    I agree with souleman. There's a very good chance that DSC does, in fact, own the idea.
    Do what you want with the girl, but leave me alone!

  9. #9
    AntiOnline Senior Member souleman's Avatar
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    problemchild> from his site...
    Mr. Brown's job at DSC was to provide technical support for the Motorola Cellular Division software testing group
    He wasn't doing programming or reverse engineering, but he was doing tech support for alpha/beta software. So, even though he wasn't writing code, he was working with it.
    \"Ignorance is bliss....
    but only for your enemy\"
    -- souleman

  10. #10
    Senior Member problemchild's Avatar
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    souleman -

    It also says "at the time he was fired." That makes me wonder what his job was previously.
    Do what you want with the girl, but leave me alone!

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