Subject: Re: [FWD: RE: [Ebxmlrr-tech] License issue with our customer]
From: Rick Moen <>
Date: Wed, 3 May 2006 14:33:34 -0700

Quoting Ben Tilly (

> If it was a work for hire, then it is not open source code no matter
> what the people who wrote it may have said.  If it was not a work for
> hire, then the authors can do what they want with the code, including
> release it as open source.  Whether or not it will be determined to be
> a work for hire depends upon the exact facts that are presented about
> the case.

If one wants to properly understand "work for hire" copyright caselaw in
USA jurisdictions, I'd highly recommend reading the pertinent USSC
opinion, for CCNV v. Reid, 490 US 730 (1989).  It's a very lucid and
clear writeup.

> PS A note for the future.  It is generally a good idea to get a real
> lawyer involved BEFORE cases go to court.  Lawyers can do many things
> for you.

Including avoiding shooting yourself in the foot during the vital
pre-trial period -- a habit depressingly endemic among computerists, 
especially given their tendency to yammer first and think afterwards.

Rick Moen                 "Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor."                                   -- Elizabeth Tudor