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    Protecting my software


    Hi, i'm looking for some legal advice. I work as a support technician in a college and have written a program for the college to use (please note my job role does not include any programming, rather this is something i did in my own time and not by their request). I am happy for them to use my software free of charge, but i would like some intellectual property protection. What would be the best course of action?
    thanks
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    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    It's work for hire unless you signed something saying otherwise. It does not matter whether it's in your job title or not. You created the program while you were being paid on the job. The copyright belongs to your employer, not to you. You do not have any right to it.

    For more info, please read this:

    Copyright office circular on Works Made for Hire Under the 1976 Copyright Act

    A lounge mod may wish to move this to Business Help.

    --edit: ok, you said it was done "on your time" ... it may be hard to prove that. Especially if it was still done in their facility or their equipment, especially if it was done for their benefit. You may wish to expand on this.
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    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Originally Posted by lint
    You created the program while you were being paid on the job
    Not quite:
    Originally Posted by hassant
    rather this is something i did in my own time and not by their request
    Depending on your contract with them, they may own something you create even if you do it on your own time and on your own equipment (see the birth of Apple Computer). If that is not stipulated in your contract, then you have a product that your employer may be interested in. Do NOT simply hand it over to them. You can "license" it to them for free, maintaining rights to it and being able to sue them for breach of contract if they do something against the license.

    As for code protection, that depends on the language. C/C++ code is compiled, and nearly impossible to decompile easily. PHP code is plaintext, and only obfuscated with the help of some expensive software. You can, if you want, include a hostname check, a license key, a "phone home" feature, or any of the other annoying anti-piracy measures you're used to in retail products.

    EDIT: Bah, lint edited his post. My advice still applies /EDIT

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    Moved from the Lounge to Business Help.
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