Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual Property Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer
My partner, he owned 51%, put a keystroke software on my computer when we were partners between 2002 and 2006. We are a Massachusetts based company. Is that legal?A: No. MGL ch. 266 sec. 120F makes it a misdemeanor to access a computer without authorization. Each access represents a separate offense.
I thought as an employer, it is OK to look in on what your employees do on your computer?
You said, My partner....Partners are not employees, and there is no employment relationship between them. Partners are owners. You also said, my computer, which to me, indicates that you, and not the company, owns the computer. If the relationship between yourself and the company, and the ownership of the computer in your original question, is different that what you originally expressed, and what you meant to say was, My employer..., and the company's computer, then my answer would be different. Here are the various possible outcomes:1. If you were an employee, and the computer was the employer's/company's, then the employer would have authority to put surveillance software on your computer.2. If you were an employee, and the computer was your computer, then the employer would not have the authority to put surveillance software on your computer.3. If you were a partner, and the computer was the employer's/company's, then the law is uncertain -- it's a question for a court to determine based upon the totality of circumstances ascertained from the facts of the case at trial. 4. If you were a partner and the computer was yours, then your partner would not have the authority to put surveillance software on your computer.As you can see, there is only one circumstance, where the surveillance software would be lawful for certain. In the other circumstances, use of the surveillance software is either absolutely illegal, or uncertain as to the result.. Hope this helps.
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