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Donita
Donita

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Do you know who really owns your code?

Hi, is anyone still there? I haven't wrote an article on here in a while, due to interviewing and landing my first Software Engineering job (blog post about that later)

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In my career transition, there has been a lot of things I have learned and a lot more I still have to learn and one of those things is Intellectual Property.

That dreaded line, is something that's not talked about in many blog posts, bootcamps and maybe even in university classes.

Do you know who really owns your code?

  • Did you know that many companies have clauses in their employment contracts that claim to own all your code in and outside of work?

  • Did you know as a developer you have rights to your code?

  • Have you wondered how to protect your patent and code?

  • Are you working with a team and you’re confused on ownership?

So for the past few months, I have had the opportunity to work alongside an incredible woman named Bria. She's a Software Engineer @ Google, amongst many other things including the founder of Tech Stack'd.

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Tech Stack'd is an online community for underrepresented adults who want to advance their careers in tech, whether that’s through starting a tech company or joining a technical career like software engineering.

Tech Stack'd provides monthly workshops, weekly discussions, mentorship and much more.

This month, Tech Stack'd will be hosting a workshop on Intellectual Property with David Leichtman. David Leichtman is the Managing Partner of trial law firm Leichtman Law PLLC, formed in April 2017 after practicing for over 20 years in large law firms. He has tried a variety of complex matters in federal and state courts around the country. Recent trials Mr. Leichtman has first-chaired have involved: copyright ownership, infringement and validity claims.

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In this workshop, we'll go over:

  • Why it's important for developers to know their rights to their code
  • What you own vs. what your company owns
  • What you can do to protect yourself and your work
  • How to determine ownership when collaborating with other people on projects
  • How much of other people's code you can use and legally make money (aka open source)

Still Interested? Sign up below!

This workshop will teach developers, freelancers, and creatives what Intellectual property is, how to know and understand your rights, common IP mistakes and so much more!

Top comments (7)

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jayone11 profile image
Jeff B

Great topic of discussion. A lot of developers also hire other developers and this is why there should be proper wording within your contracts to address intellectual property rights. Most importantly, to make sure IP is assigned to you or your company. I am a cyber insurance expert and one of the main concerns when I underwrite an insurance application is making sure the contracts contain the proper wording. One of the questions within my cyber insurance application is whether IP is formally assigned and whether there is legal review of your contracts. This is our main focus at CyberPolicy. Making sure we can insure and protect developers and their companies from financial loss due to privacy or data breach liability, including copyright infringement and intellectual property rights.

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db325 profile image
db325

Great post. BTW how long did it take to find your job? I've been looking for the past two years with no luck. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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donita profile image
Donita Author

Hey! Thank you for comment! I'm sorry, it's taking so long. From previous experience, I understand the toll it can take. When I did my career transition into tech, It was only about a month and the interviewing process took 4 months. This position, was from the help of my bootcamp's career services.

But before, I would go to different meetups in my city, I would join designated city slack channels to get my name out and I think one thing that stood out, besides my projects was that I started teaching code for a local non profit. I would look also on designated city job boards. I barely got any luck big job boards.

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db325 profile image
db325

Thank you πŸ€—πŸ˜Š

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andreandyp profile image
AndrΓ© Michel Andy

Hello! I'm from Mexico and here we have 2 important cases:

1) When you write code for other people (such as companies), the code you write is owned by them, because it's a work that someone assigned to you.
2) When you write your own code, you have some rights. You need to register to access all law rights. You just need to register the more important parts of your code.

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dwd profile image
Dave Cridland

Thanks for writing this. You're absolutely right that this is a sensitive area both for developers and employers alike - and one that's often overlooked by even very experienced developers.

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