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From robert burrell donkin <>
Subject Re: Request for Comment : Harmony Contribution Policy
Date Mon, 01 Aug 2005 16:49:40 GMT
On 8/1/05, Dirk-Willem van Gulik <> wrote:
> On Mon, 1 Aug 2005, robert burrell donkin wrote:
> > of trade secrets and strictly limits the rights of employers to
> > material created by an employee in their own time using their
> > materials.
> On paper - yes - but national law and case-law shows that as soon as that
> material is even remotely in the same line of work as gainfully employed
> to do; cases err. towards the employer.

AIUI that is not the case with UK law (for copyright at least).
anything your create in your own time which does not use your
employers materials belongs to you. the only difficulties arise when
the disputed material is very similar to material demonstrated to be
owned by your employer (in which case, i agree that cases err towards
the employer).

> > time. any agreements related to employment will be interpreted under
> > employment law rather than contract law (which are quite different) so
> Agreed.
> > even a signed CCLA may offer little help to the ASF in the event of a
>                 ^
> > dispute. so, may need an additional clause with different wording for
> > those in similar jurisdictions.
> This I do not see - a CLA yes (esp. if the employer was not informed about
> it - which in most EU countries an employee effectively has to do). But a
> CCLA from the employer ? Because then the dispute is between the ASF and
> the Employer about the agreement set out in the CCLA.

i do agree that (if you can find a UK employer willing to sign it),
having a CCLA decreases the chances of an employer successfully
obtaining title.

i worry that the CCLA is a contract framed under US law and which may
not turn out to be enforcable in other jurisdictions. for example,
AIUI it does not explicitly exclude actions under employment law to
obtain title (claiming - for example - that the employee was not
empowered to make certain contributions). in the UK, the matter of
copyright (in a dispute) would be assigned by a court judgement. the
case would be between employee and employer and the ASF would not be a
party to the primary action. i'm unsure whether the ASF would be able
to sue anyone in those circumstances.


- robert

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