3 Replies - 1453 Views - Last Post: 10 April 2010 - 11:45 PM

#1 agentkirb  Icon User is offline

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Legal Issues:Not giving credit for work on software?

Posted 26 March 2010 - 12:44 PM

The "scenario" is that a professor of some college is writing some software, gets help from students and other faculty members for various parts of the project, but when he finally finishes it he doesn't give credit to the people that helped (the assumption is that he does this on purpose, I guess).

Now, I don't know what everyone's opinion is on whether or not this is "okay". But I was wondering if there were any legal issues relating to software specifically. I would assume the same plagiarism laws that are usually applied to research papers and other written works would be applied here as well. But is there anything specifically applying to the software industry? Court cases, laws, etc?

I'm trying to find things but I'm coming up empty (other than just generic copyright laws).

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#2 calvinthedestroyer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Legal Issues:Not giving credit for work on software?

Posted 26 March 2010 - 10:47 PM

As a patent holder myself, I would believe that you can take the professor to court and demand that he pay royalties to the people that helped him write the software.

If the Professor is using the software internally and there is no cash flow being generated from it then there is no money to sue over. However, You "the student" invested in your education by paying the school to teach you but, since the professor is using you as a code farm instead of giving you an education you can sue the professor and the school for a breach in contract and demand that your tuition be refunded.

My third option (witch is not condone by DIC) would be to leave a back door in the professors software and then disable it or do something that will get the professor in trouble.

Before you do anything, consult an attorney. They will usually charge $20.00 to go over your situation and then give you a bit of advice. I've had four five times in my life when I talked to an attorney and it defiantly helped.
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#3 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

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Re: Legal Issues:Not giving credit for work on software?

Posted 28 March 2010 - 06:11 AM

Quote

consult an attorney.


This is the best advice you're going to get in this thread. Do that, disregard what anyone else says.
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#4 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Legal Issues:Not giving credit for work on software?

Posted 10 April 2010 - 11:45 PM

View Postcalvinthedestroyer, on 26 March 2010 - 11:47 PM, said:

I would believe that you can take the professor to court and demand that he pay royalties to the people that helped him write the software.

Do you not remember the ALUG when the Akron U students showcased their USB copying device? It was school property, & they had to get the highest of the highest to give them permission to take it off campus. They thoroughly explained that the device belonged to the school & not to them, same with the software. The reason behind this was when they signed up for classes they signed a waiver explaining exactly that.

To be honest, I would go with option 3 & I probably would leave some sort of 'opt-out' option that I could later control. I guess it would depend on the exact situation & the description given doesn't give me enough reason to jump to vindictive practices.
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