Freeing my code... need some guidance

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Sun Jan 11 01:09:16 UTC 2009

Ben Tilly wrote:

> You don't get to dictate or bind them in any way, shape or form.  You
> have no ownership of that code you wrote.  *Perhaps* you can convince
> them to do what you want, but I wouldn't count on it.  Please don't
> try to ignore this fact because if you do then you can get yourself
> into pretty serious trouble, very quickly.

It's true Simon needs to clear things with his employer (they almost
certainly own the code).  However, this  is hardly impossible.  You can
mention some of the major companies that contribute to FOSS (IBM,
Oracle, Red Hat, Sun, even Microsoft).  Tell them the FOSS community
will help maintain the code, while the company can still do what they
like with it (which includes potentially not mentioning their name).
And don't make /them/ figure out the licensing issues  Tell them "You
should let me release this under BSD [or whatever you choose].  Here's why."

> There is no point wasting time thinking about what copyright license
> you wish to put on code you don't have copyright to.

I disagree.  Obviously, only the employer can make the final decision.
However, if Simon has specific licenses in mind (and reasons for them)
when he talks to The Boss, it will be more convincing then saying, "Hey,
maybe you should let me use one of the 72 licenses at this site."


Matt Flaschne

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