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Joel on Software

Does your employer own your side projects?

by Joel Spolsky
Friday, February 11, 2011

There’s a surprising amount of misinformation out there about whether software companies own the work that a programmer does in their spare time.

From my answer to the question on answers.onstartups.com:

Being an employee of a high tech company whose product is intellectual means that you have decided that you want to sell your intellectual output.

Read the whole thing here:

If I'm working at a company, do they have intellectual property rights to the stuff I do in my spare time?

Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

Want to know more?

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About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, easy web-based collaboration software, FogBugz, an enlightened bug tracking and software development tool, and Kiln, a distributed source control system that will blow your socks off. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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