Friday, February 09, 2007

Friday Guilt...

Well, it seems that Mommy Sheep raised her little girl right. I'm sporting the guilts for having been less than responsible over the past week. First, I failed in my blogging responsibilities in order that I might write a bad paper. Then I missed work today for a doctor's appointment. These would all probably be forgivable under the circumstances. But I can think of no good excuse for my having blown off meeting with my boss at job #2 today. All I can say is that it was cold and I wanted to go home and take a nap. Instead of meeting today, we will be sitting down next Tuesday night. More on that in a bit. Meanwhile, let's all just enjoy my Friday Guilt Post, shall we?
A funny thing happened on the way to the knitting needles today. The plan was to see if I couldn't make some headway on sleeve #2 in preparation for the upcoming school vacation. This struck me as a time with sweater seaming written all over it. In anticipation of a completed sweater, I took a moment to lay out the existing pieces in all their block-resistant glory. To be so close to the finish line must surely give a Sheep that little extra boost of knitting speed.




I mean, c'mon! How can you not see the potential here???

But, like I said: A funny thing happened. I tripped over a spinning wheel. The same wheel that has languished over the past couple of months while I get over a serious bout of the blahs with regard to the whirling of the fibers. I guess I'll do just about anything to avoid pesky finishing techniques.


Fiber that was dyed last weekend. It was pretty much unavoidable...
What can I say? I am weak. I do not see myself plowing through this particular lot of fiber in short order. In fact, I suspect that it will find its way to the yarn state in, at best, fits and starts. But it surely is purty! And soft like the clouds.
Now, about that Tuesday meeting...
I'm in need of a little expertise from those of you out there who might know of these things. I called the office to reschedule today's meeting and discuss a little "development." Last week, in an unexpected turn of events, my name and the word "copyright" were used in the same sentence. As some of you know, I have been writing a series of articles to be used with the Parenting Education program my boss and I are developing. I have also shared that my agency is the much smaller satellite version of the main offices. We operate independently, but are under their umbrella. They have approved of the program and are most enthusiastic. Enough so that they are considering pursuing a copyright. I didn't really think much of it until today when my boss expressed some concerns. I won't go into great detail, but she feels strongly that my work is quite good and should remain under my control.
Being who I be, my first response is always something along the lines of, "Aw, shucks! T'werent nuthin'! They can have it!" Self-deprecation is a skill of mine. But, my boss was persistent. She pointed out that the articles were written based on my own experience as an educator and counselor and not a compilation of previously existing work. There are other issues around the possible copyright, but they are of a larger issue and too complex for my wee little brain to really condense for you.
My boss would like to see me retain control over the material that I have written in the event that I choose to expand upon it or use it in another manner. I have no issue with the agency using the articles since they paid me for the time it took to write them. But I have absolutely no idea what rights that gives them over them. Does anyone have any thoughts or experience around this? My tentative position, given the agency's current circumstances, is that they paid me for my time but not for the content. They have my full permission to use it in any way they see fit. But I would like to retain control over it for future use or inclusion in larger works.
Or maybe I'm just sick of it and want to take a nap. I can't really decide. And it's Friday so the brain cells are not quite in full functioning mode. This is why I like the knitting...once you knit something you can wear it and no one can tell you that the buttons do not meet the terms of the contract.
They can, however, tell you that the buttons do not meet the terms of your girth. This is another issue I'm having with finishing this current project...
SA

14 comments:

Beth said...

Um, let's not talk about terms of girth, okay? :)

I asked S about your development. He wondered if you ever signed an employee agreement. He had to sign one when he started with his current company. It states that anything he does while at this job belongs to the company. He even holds several patents, but they belong to the company.

Beth said...

I forgot to say that your sweater is looking great!

Anonymous said...

Your sweater looks wonderful and so does the singles.
Beth has a really good point. They may own it if you signed something with them. But if you didn't I think you should hold the copyright. You could give your company the right to use them as they wish but it would protect you from others using it in a way you wouldn't want it used (ie, to make money and not give you any).
Also, is there anyway you can use this work for credit towards your class? I'm all that.
Karen
http://nothingbutknit.blog-city.com/

Mel said...

What Beth & Karen said. Unless you signed a contract granting copyright to the company, then you retain copyright on anything you've written. The only caveat I could see to that is if the writing is the main thing you're being paid for. Then they could make an argument that there is a de facto contract for you to provide this material to them, which may give them some rights to the material. At least that's how I understand it, but I don't claim to be a lawyer. I just play one on TV.

On a completely unrelated matter, are you planning on being at Spa?

Julie said...

The sweater is looking great! You simply must finish that second sleeve so we can see the finished product.

As for the copyright issue, I say listen to your boss and retain control over your work!

mehitabel said...

Me too on the keeping control thing. Check out Catsmum's post of a few days back to see how it feels when you see your hard work being circulated without benefit of proper attribution! You can grant your employer rights to use the work for their specific purpose while while retaining all other rights for yourself. (BTW I'm not licensed to practice law, so you may want to get a real lawyer to check it over for you.)
Oh, and the sweater is looking good, and you can always adjust the girth on one or the other of you so you can wear it proudly! Now go take that nap...

April said...

I know nothing about copyright law but I'm sure Samurai Knitter does because she knows everything.

I do know that I love you sweater and your spinning err .. stuff.

Jeanne said...

By all means you should hold the copyright unless there is as Beth said an employee agreement or contract declaration stating otherwise. Best bet is to speak with a lawyer or check out the Library of Congress' Copyrights website. http://www.copyright.gov/

These articles could be the basis for a book you might write in the future. You could be writing the beginnings of a textbook or something!

On another note, I think HM came over to my place for a visit. Unfortunately, HM left RM behind at your place. Tell HM that RM has to come with next time. It's only fair. ;-) BTW, there was chocolate. It helped.

Annie said...

I agree with what others have said about copyright. Hang onto it if you possibly can - your work, you should profit.
Your sweater is gorgeous, knitterly gorgeous.

Sheila said...

What everyone else said....check your employment agreement. DH has one, and anything he invents (surgival tools or proceedures) belong to the government. If you can, retain rights to the work outside of the office. I think you can even put a time stipulation on how long they can use it, but i'm no expert so perhaps you can consult with one?
The sweater looks great...love the colors!

Vicki in So. Cal. said...

I agree with everybody else. Talk to an expert about your situation and keep the rights to your work if possible.

The yarn you're spinning looks great.

kmkat said...

Re: copyright. Yeah, keep it under your control. Isn't Girl From Auntie an expert on this sort of thing? Why not e-mail her? Keep it in the knitting community...

That sweater has potential written all over it. Unlike many photographs (including mine), yours captured the gorgeous textural soft yarny goodness that begs for touching. Not by me, you understand, just in general :-)

Lazuli said...

The sweater looks very nice! I hope you get it finished soon! I don't know about copyright law, but I'd say that retaining control of your work sounds like a good idea.

Bobbi said...

with all things regarding legal measures my advice is to consult an attorney. but my two cents is don't give up your rights.