Copyright Concerns | Clare Bartlett
SDX Alliance is a large company that sells computers, computer components, and software. Ralph is hired as an entry-level software engineer at SDX Alliance. His first project was to assist in writing the code for SDX Alliance’s new hard disc controller. He had previously worked on a similar system interning at a start-up and had written a code which greatly enhanced the performance of their product. Ralph quietly re-uses this same code in the SDX Alliance product, and does not think to tell anyone that he has used the code from his last job. His manager is thrilled with the speed improvements this code brings to the product. Before the product is released, it has to undergo a four-month long quality assurance process review. During the review of the product, it was found the code which Ralph developed had been copyrighted by the startup he had previously worked for. Even though Ralph had developed the code, his previous company still owned the intellectual property rights to it. When his manager informed Ralph of the problem, Ralph admits he did not realize he had made a mistake because he was not familiar with copyright laws. Ralph then goes on to explain that the start-up he used to work for is now out of business and is unsure if SDX Alliance would be able to get in contact with the owner of the copyright. If SDX Alliance can’t use Ralph’s code, then it will have to rewrite the entire code of the product, delaying its release by many months. What should they do?
SDX Alliance is a large company that sells computers, computer components, and software. Ralph is hired as an entry-level software engineer at SDX Alliance.
Hi Ralph, I will be your trainor. I am a sofware engineer and also the of IT Department.
I will check your work next week. Goodluck!
Since you have a good background on programming, i will assign you to assist mark in writing the codes for Hard disc controller.
Yes Sir. It's my pleasure to meet you and to help in needs of the company
Ralph this will be your second chance. I will be giving you a project and make sure that you will not create any problems again.
Yes sir, thank you for the chance. I will make sure that i will check every code i made. i will assure you that it will be legit.
Don't worry sir as his senior i will guide him
Sir, I just finished the codes and already check the codes if there's copyright infringement or any illegal things. Can you please re-check it again ?
Alright! Let me check.
You're done! Nice job Ralph. I checked everything and there's no violation.
I'm sorry sir. I am not aware on copyright infringement law.
Im happy that it's done early. Okay now, let me check your work guys.
Wait Ralph, What is this ? Is this your older codes from your last company ?
The company cannot accept this. We can sue on copyright infringement. Even though its your code your older company owns it.
We don't have a choice. It's better to delay the release than being in court. I will talk to the President.
What are we gonna do sir ? Are we going to rewrite the codes again ? Then we will be delayed for many months.
Yes sir. I will never do it again now that i am aware of copyright law and i will make sure to study other computer laws. I am very sorry sir and mark.
We cannot tolerate this things again. Make sure to check your codes and the engineering ethical and computer law. Copyright infringement is againts the law.
It's okay , what's important is we learn from our mistake and i have a fault here also. I didn't lecture you about computer laws and never check your codes.