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  1. Community

    Community Member

    Jul 1, 2010
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    Would there be any legal conflicts with your "day job"?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Community, Aug 23, 2010.

    If you work in an office, would they let you publish a book on your spare time? Obviously I'm not saying to write your book while you're at work; what I mean is even if you work on the book outside of working hours.

    I remember hearing about the Barbie vs Bratz legal battle because the guy that made Bratz was employed at the place that owned Barbie. And he actually ended up losing.

    So if I'm working at an office, would that be a problem?
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Mar 9, 2010
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    I think that it's hugely "it depends". Depends, that is, on what contracts you might have signed, and how enforceable those contracts are in the relevant jurisidiction(s), and how closely related your work is to the writing that you want to publish, and whether your employer wants to be obstructive or cooperative.

    I believe that it's not at all un-heard-of for employers who have breathtakingly broad contracts claiming rights over your every creative thought, to nevertheless relinquish those rights when they're not relevant to the job. If you write code for video games, odds are your employer isn't interested in claiming the knitting patterns that you designed, especially if they're unlikely to be able to enforce that claim in court anyway.

    The better informed will no doubt provide better answers. :) However, you might want to start by digging through your employment paperwork, or talking to your HR department, to see if you did sign any contracts along those lines.

  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Jul 5, 2010
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    California, US
    Very unlikely that it would be a problem, Community, unless your day job involves the sort of artistic/creative endeavors that may be related to writing a novel. If you're just working a normal office job, your employer won't have any claim on your novel.

    In the Barbie/Bratz case the guy was found to have violated a copyright as well as a contract.
  4. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Unless you have a contract that specifically states that all your writing, while you are employed by them, is their property, you should be okay. Such a contract would be very unusual unless your day job involves creative writing (and probably unusual even then).
  5. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Coquille, Oregon
    ditto to that... where do you work and what do you do?... and what are you writing about?

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