Copyright Law and Ownership of Software

I have a new podcast over at Tech{dot}MN. I interviewed Ray Bonnabeau of Hellmuth & Johnson about what software companies need to think about to make sure they truly own the software code the are using and creating. Ray is a really smart guy and the topic is something that is overlooked so frequently by new companies. Copyright law assumes ownership by the author, so the code you hired an independent contractor to create may not be yours.

Have a listen to “Copyright and Ownership of Software: Where Did We Get This Code Anyway?”


They Don’t Make Computer Manuals Like This Anymore

Actually, I don’t think they even make computer manuals any more. At least not ones that come with your computer. Either way, this manual from a Franklin Ace 1000 is seems so foreign, so unlike any documentation you might get today that its almost amusing. Its part rant, part manifesto and it breaks up the world into “THEM”, “US” and “YOU.” From the manual:

“Program manufacturers are natural paranoids. In their zeal to “copy protect” their programs, they tend to regard all customers as potential thieves”

Interestingly enough, Franklin made Apple computer clones and was successfully sued by Apple for copyright infringement of Apple’s operating system. Natural paranoids indeed.

Full article at Ironic Sans. HT to BoingBoing


Puffery!

Domino's Pizza Defines Puffery

This commercial amused me so much. Puffery is one of those terms that when you first hear it, you assume you misunderstood because it couldn’t possibly be a real legal term. But it is. Basically, puffery is exagerated praise for promoting or selling products. E.g. “The Godfread Law Firm is the greatest law firm ever!!!” The legal effect is that you couldn’t sue me for deceptive advertising or breach of warranty or otherwise rely upon that statement.


New Post at TECH{dot}MN

My second post at TECH{dot}MN is a quick overview of various employment agreements that can get you into trouble if you ignore them. Anyone starting a new business needs to review what agreements they have signed with their former employer.

More at TECH{dot}MN