Cndnsd Vrsn: 4 PM Wednesday 9/28 Employment & Copyright Law
DIFFERENT LOCATION AND DAY
The next meeting of the Front Range UNIX Users
Group (FRUUG) will be held at 4:00 P.M. on Wednesday September 28.
Please note the different meeting location (below) and day.
The pace of technological innovation almost always
outpaces our ability to place them in the context
of our existing laws. It would be hard not to notice
some of the current legal debates going on around us, and
for our September meeting, Carl Oppedahl, from the
law firm Oppedahl & Larson LLP, will help us sort
out some of what's going on.
As computing professionals, most of
us work for a living and create intellectual property
in one form or another. With this visit to
FRUUG, Carl will tackle these two areas with a
series of fascinating stories, surprising legal findings,
and lots of answers to your questions.
Do you work for a living? As an employee? As
a contractor? Have you noticed Microsoft suing
its former employees for going to work at Google?
Do you have a contract or non-compete agreement
in force with your employer? What rights do you
have under these agreements?
You might be surprised to learn that many employment
contracts attempt to restrict the ability of an employee
from using skills learned at one company in a job with a new
employer. You may also be surprised to learn what
protections Colorado law offers to protect employees
from companies enforcing such contracts.
Do you work as a contractor? Did you sign a contract
that guarantees that every line of software you write does not
infringe on someone else's intellectual rights including patents
and copyrights? It's hard to know, given that almost
everything seems patentable in software these days, and
a recent case between Microsoft and Apple regarding iPod
technology suggests that others can patent your invention
even without you knowing. Carl will discuss things to
watch out for next time you negotiate a contract, and
he will suggest some alternatives to typical contract
In every appearance that Carl Oppedahl has made at FRUUG,
he's waved the federal copyright registration form and
has made an "eat your beets" pitch for why it's important
to seek federal registration. If you don't know why,
you're sure to learn in this portion of Carl's talk.
Without copyright protection, it might be difficult
to get people to pay us for our work.
Once your copyright is registered, what are the limits
of how your materials can be used and copied? Several
controversies are arising over the limits of copyright
protection, and we're not just talking about copying
music files. Google, in its quest to make all information
available to everyone, is busy scanning all of the books
in several university libraries. Can it do this without
violating book publishers' copyrights? Can it make a copy
of your Web site for its search-engine use? Does your
robots.txt file have any legal significance?
at it, Archive.org's Wayback machine has come under fire
for making and keeping a historical record of the Web,
surprisingly from the same attorneys that use it for research
purposes. Can a non-profit organization make a copy
of everything on the Web without violating intellectual
property laws? And by the way, have you noticed the fine-print
Do you agree to them by simply accessing a Web site?
Carl Oppedahl is an attorney that understands technology.
Carl is a programmer himself, and has been technically trained in
physics, electrical engineering, mathematics, and software engineering.
This, plus his law degree from Harvard Law School, has helped to put him
at the forefront of computer software and Internet litigation. Carl
represented Road Runner Computer Systems in a dispute in which Network
Solutions, Inc. wanted to cut off use of their domain name and give
it to one of the many trademark owners of the term "Road Runner."
This was the first case of its
kind, and Road Runner Computer Systems prevailed.
litigated a case in which three different Web sites used his law firm's
name in their META-tags eight times over 11 different pages, presumably to
increase the probability that their sites would appear in searches
Oppedahl's name. Due to Oppedahl's efforts, the offending companies are
permanently enjoined from using his law firm's name on their Web pages.
You'll find more about Oppedahl & Larson LLP at
After fifteen years meeting at the CU Academic Computing
Center, that space is no longer available to us, and we're
looking for a new permanent home in Boulder that has
A/V equipment and hopefully room for our library cart.
If you have any suggestions, please contact us!
This meeting will be held at the George Reynolds Branch Library
in Boulder at 3595 Table Mesa Drive. This is a convenient
location for FRUUG members coming in from the south and east, as it's
close to the intersection of Table Mesa and Broadway.
See map below or get
directions from Google maps.
FRUUG, originally the Boulder Users Group (BUG), was founded
almost 25 years ago because there was no group forum in which
local professionals trying to make sense of the then-unsupported
UNIX operating system could get help understanding and running
Now that Sun Microsystems has open-sourced substantial portions
of its Solaris Operating System, the Front Range OpenSolaris
Users Group has formed and has held its first meeting to help
its members understand the intricacies of compiling, installing,
and using OpenSolaris.
Both of our groups are interested in cutting-edge UNIX operating system
technologies, so at this month's meeting, a representative from
FROSUG (you thought FRUUG was hard to pronounce!)
will introduce the group and its plans.
We've also decided to work together, and where our meeting topics
overlap, we'll be hosting some joint meetings.
You'll find the OpenSolaris User Group on the Web at:
Their next meeting is about NFSv4 on September 20,
at Sun Microsystems in Broomfield.
At our last meeting, Jim Elliott, of C++ powered house fame, gave us a one-hour
condensed version of his Test-Driven Development course. Jeff Haemer
did a great writeup of Jim's talk, and Jim's slides are also available
in the meeting archive.
Announcements, presentation slides, and
writeups for past meetings are available in the FRUUG Meeting Archive.
We have several meeting topics planned for the fall.
In October, Cricket Liu will be in town to talk about
DNS cache poisoning. Sound obscure? It's not. A recent rash
of cache-poisoning attacks have steered users to
phishing sites, with no indication that they weren't
the real ones. Cricket will talk about how the attacks
work and how to protect your DNS servers from them.
Date to be announced.
We're also planning a talk on system issues behind
RFID, and a joint meeting with the OpenSolaris Users Group
to that includes a demonstration of Solaris 10 Dtrace.
We'd like to do more meetings with short
presentations on interesting technologies that FRUUG
members are working with. If you are working on something
that you'd like to give a 20-minute presentation on, please
contact one of the Executive Committee members at the meeting.
New books in the FRUUG library this month include:
- Adobe Photoshop CS2 One-on-One,
- Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, Second Edition,
from Addison Wesley
- Apache Security,
- Computer Privacy Annoyances,
- Developing Feeds with RSS and Atom,
- Eclipse IDE Pocket Guide,
- Ending Spam,
from No Starch
- Google Hacking for Penetration Testers,
- Learning Perl, 4th Edition,
- Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition,
- Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition,
- PC Pest Control,
- The Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide, Second Edition, from
- Perl Best Practices,
- Samba-3 By Example, Practical Exercises to Successful Deployment,
From Addison Wesley
- Spring into Linux, from Addison Wesley
- Spring into Technical Writing, from Addison Wesley
- UML 2.0 in a Nutshell,
You may check out books using your business card as your
library card; you must be on the membership list to check books out. Books
are due at the meeting following the one in which they are checked out.
Remember that your FRUUG membership entitles you to discounts
on your book orders from O'Reilly &
Associates, New Riders, No Starch, Paraglyph, PC Publishing, Pragmatic Bookshelf, SitePoint, and Syngress; refer to the FRUUG Web site for details.