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IBM To Kernel Maintainer: "You Are An IBM Employee 100% Of The Time"

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  • #61
    its US and a US corp what is the problem? It's usual, garbage country with millions dying with cancer and other problems because they don't have a job or they loose because the health problem and military spend more money than all other countries together, stupid country for stupid people


    • #62
      Tbh, I am more surprised by the reactions in this forum than in the IBM original email.

      It might come from US-centric expectations, but not the whole world works like that.

      I've been professionally developing in sw in different EU countries for 20 years as full-time employee (Italy, France, Netherlands, UK), with at least one employer developing an open-Source product as its main offering, and another one being very open-source friendly.

      Guess what? Most of the employment contracts which were offered to me had clauses specifically assigning to the Company any intellectual property I created in my spare time.

      I pushed back against that, and all I could ever get was whitelisting of "my own personal projects"; I never got not a full exemption of all work done outside office hours.

      This sounds draconian at first sight, but it is quite common that weekend code is developed using know-how acquired as an employee, or that it is in the same product space of the day job. Untangling personal knowledge from corporate knowledge in those cases becomes quickly lawyer fodder.

      With open-source-friendly employers, the situations is in fact even murkier than with the staunchly proprietary ones, as they are generally happy that you produce as much code / blog posts / supporting material as you want using their name, and will host it on their infrastructure, regardless of the fact that it was committed from home or from the office.
      But then they will also require a cooperative behavior on baseline practices which affect the corporate brand & copyright protection.
      Scolding colleagues on a publicly visible pull request might be OK in some places, and definitely not acceptable in others. The same for twitter messages, even posted from a "personal" account.

      TL;DR It is up to every developer to draw his personal red-line and decide when his/her managers have become too obnoxious, and prepare an exit strategy...


      • #63
        I would quit for sure.


        • #64
          People are surprised by this? IBM is one of the worst of the ol'boy draconian shit holes to work for. This is exactly the sort of thing IBM would say. Su

          Then again; I do understand their point of view that they're sponsoring code and want to make it clear they're sponsoring it. If the guy had put a commit in from home with his it probably would not have been an issue. Heck, maybe he just hadn't configured git correctly and forgot to set the repo to use his email.
          Last edited by rhavenn; 20 April 2021, 11:39 AM.


          • #65
            It reminds me of this picture:


            • #66
              Originally posted by macemoneta View Post
              I had an employer that insisted they owned every line of code I wrote, even on my own time. Some companies are not worth working for.
              I had a similar experience. The sad thing is, the company I was working for wasn't even a tech company. But they were a big company, and seemingly wanted to get as close as they legally could to owning their employees. That was twenty years ago, so this isn't something new.


              • #67
                Originally posted by macemoneta View Post
                I had an employer that insisted they owned every line of code I wrote, even on my own time. Some companies are not worth working for.
                Depends on the contract you signed with them. In the US, atleast two states Washington and California, have a law, that whatever the employee does on their own time, using their own equipment and not on employer premises, is theirs and the compay they work for can't claim it.


                • #68
                  Originally posted by darkbasic View Post

                  Exactly, I don't think many would be interested in a job position at these conditions.
                  Almost all tech companies (and even non-tech companies) have employment clauses that state that everything you do belongs to them. Luckily, some countries and states in some countries have laws that forbid the employer from claiming everything as theirs.

                  So no matter which company you go to, you're screwed.


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by danmcgrew View Post
                    "Pretty strange considering IBM now owns Red Hat..."

                    Not strange at all. This decision was made by an individual, as are most of the brain-dead decisions made by "managers". Sometimes these things are done at the corporate level (still doesn't make these type decisions "non-brain-dead", however). Read on...

                    Back in the days when airlines showered travellers with free mileage, Motorola Semiconductor Div. (back in the days there was a Motorola Semiconductor Div.) came out with a pronunciamento, an edict, stating that all those free-travel airline miles, "earned" in the pursuit of service to Motorola (read "business trips") belonged to Motorola, and must be turned over to same, for its use only, and only as it saw fit.
                    A friend--a Moto sales-force type--dashed off a quick, but politically correct memo to the president of Motorola, stating that he had no problem with this new policy, but as most of his trips were taken after normal business hours (sometimes late-night; sometimes very-early-morning; sometimes all-night, as in California to Boston) so that he was available for business during "normal" hours the following day, he would really like to be compensated for HIS PERSONAL time spent in the pursuit of business for Motorola.

                    The policy was quietly dropped. VERY quietly.
                    Interestingly... the place I work pays me for all travel time, AND I get to keep my miles. If I get stuck in the airport for 2 days... that's overtime, obviously I can work to some degree remotely but yeah. (overtime is just extra hours not an increase in pay but still).


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by rastersoft View Post
                      The answer is easy: "then you have to pay me four times my current salary".
                      Most of us don't have that kind of leverage and most managers don't have that kind of budget or flexibility. In particular, HR departments constrain managers' flexibility on pay, to limit the potential of their generosity depleting the company's profits. To go outside the normal compensation limits usually requires moving mountains and getting approval at a very high level.