Your Creations Are Not Yours

Your Creations Are Not Yours

Here’s a chilling fact about employee-employer relations I never knew: if you create something while under your employer’s hire—even if you don’t create it during work time—your employer owns it. So if you create anything that relates directly to their business, they don’t have to pay you anything extra to use it. Wow.

Here’s a story from Jens Alfke, who created Stickies for the Mac OS.

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  1. Pingback: Followup: My Lawyer on Employee Ownership of Works — Imprint-The Online Community for Graphic Designers

  2. Pingback: Modern Things » Read this.

  3. the point of the post is that even if you create something in your off hours, there can be a legal case made for your employer’s ownership of that object, as illustrated in the story i linked to.
     
    the author was working on a tool called antelope notes on his own time, when apple decided they wanted to include it as stickies in OS7. several parties in management made it a point to say he didn’t have to be reimbursed for it (but being humane, paid him a bonus for the additional work).

  4. If a contractor builds me a house and I pay him for it, does the house remain his?
    If Nike pays my company to create a logo, my company pays me to work on that logo, why doesn’t Nike own what they paid for?