Freeing my code... need some guidance

Simon turner25 at
Sun Jan 11 18:25:41 UTC 2009

Ben Tilly wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 9:31 AM, Simon <turner25 at> wrote:
>> Ben Tilly wrote:
> [...]
>>> (This is part of the reason that I now choose to live in California
>>> where what I do in my own time belongs to me and can't be signed away.
>>>  I firmly believe that this fact is a key factor in the success of
>>> Silicon Valley.)
>> Very neat!  So you mean that a programmer in California can program on his
>> own and keep all rights for his personal work?  If that's the case, I
>> wouldn't be surprised there is a lot of contributors to GPL code in that
>> region!
> That is absolutely the case.  And it has huge implications.  For
> example it is a common story that programmers will get together nights
> and weekends to put together proof of concept for a startup, then quit
> their day job to get the new company going.  Lots of companies in
> Silicon Valley started this way, for example Cisco and eBay.  (Cisco's
> founding was actually significantly messier than this, see
> for details.)  OTOH I know
> people who lived outside of California who tried this and got told by
> their employer, "We own that, hand it over."  The result?  No startup.
>  Nobody will ever know how many startups have ended this way, or be
> able to estimate the economic cost of it.
> Whenever I hear about efforts in places like New York to encourage
> startups to form, I have to giggle.  Because it is obvious to me that
> they are shooting themselves in the foot with bad intellectual
> property law, but they are utterly blind to it.

Awesome!  It is crazy how sneaky and powerful the law can be!
I'll be very careful from now on, in fact, I'll do a lot of research to 
understand how my area deals with this type of situation...  I have friends that 
will surely be interested in hearing my results and will probably profit from it!


> Cheers,
> Ben

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