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Losing My Software Rights? 440

vintagepc writes "Having written a piece of software as part of my research employment, I now face (and will later face again, with other software I've developed), the issue of intellectual property rights. The legal department stated that if I was paid by the University to produce the software, the University would own all rights to it. This is supposedly black and white, not a gray area. However, I was hired as a research student, not directly by the University, and also via a research award (NSERC). Furthermore, it turns out that faculty members here, in fact, retain their intellectual rights to any software they write. At this point, I can still back out, since I have not explicitly agreed to the conditions, but this decision must be made soon. So, I turn to the Slashdot community to ask: Are they allowed to completely strip my rights to the software? If anyone has had any similar experiences, then what was the outcome? Additionally, is this a normal action, or do I have some maneuvering room?"

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