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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Is there a law that gives employers ownership of a personal

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Is there a law that gives employers ownership of a personal program or book i developed while working for them ?

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you with your legal question.

Yes, generally when you are an employee and you create a program or book for your employer as part of the duties you perform as an employee, the work belongs to the employer.

If you create the program or book and it is unrelated to your job duties and was not made in the course of your employment, then outside of a written agreement which provides otherwise, the work belongs to you.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am credited by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Kind regards,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I guess i need to ask this better. I am doing this research for a school paper. If someone is working on a personal project at their job on their down time. Is the employer entitled to any part of the project sisnce it was made on their time? Its for an ethics paper ? I cant find the answer anywhere?

If it is a personal project that is done on down time, then the employee owns the project under US copyright law (i.e., the Copyright Act).

The employer may have a claim for a share of any profits made from the project because the employee used the employer's resources (i.e., used the employer's computer), and was being paid for his/her time.

In other words, ethically, the employee should seek permission to do personal projects during down time while at work. The employee owes a duty to the employer to only spend their time working for the employer.

For further information, you should research the topic of "Work for Hire".
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is there any law or copyright act i can cite for this in PA


See this resource for statutory citations, or you can actually just cite it:
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