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Ubisoft Injuncts Tremblay For Joining Vivendi 43

simoniker writes "According to an Ubisoft statement, the company has obtained an injunction against Martin Tremblay, who recently left as Ubisoft Montreal head to run Vivendi Games, in an attempt to enforce a non-compete clause. This is particularly notable/ironic because Tremblay was in charge of Ubisoft Montreal's previous aggressive attempts to enforce its non-compete for game developers who left to join EA Montreal - the whole situation again brings up the discussion of whether non-compete clauses are at all sensible."
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Ubisoft Injuncts Tremblay For Joining Vivendi

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  • by secolactico ( 519805 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @02:36PM (#15248187) Journal
    I'm sure Martin is tremblaying in his shoes right now.

    AAAARGH!
  • Bah! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <pig.hogger@gm a i l.com> on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @02:41PM (#15248237) Journal
    Bah!

    Québec labour laws are extremely liberal towards workers (heck, here is the only place where Wall-Marde stores have successfully unionized [wikipedia.org] - make sure you check the edit wars on Wikipedia), so it is very likely that they will be told to pound sand...

    • Except that WalMart closed the store shortly thereafter so unions be damned when nobody has a job.
      • IIRC, there was some stink about how closing a business should be illegal, when that happened.
      • walmart did a similar thing in my town a few years back. they bought out the Wolco store, then closed it down citing "poor business projections" (BS. the store had been profitable under several names for 20 years).

        the store staff was unionized.

        yet, just 3 years later, they built a whole new building and opened a Walmart store, with a non-union workforce.

        remarkable, no?
    • http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=4920 [yale.edu]
      Richard McGregor
      The Financial Times, 23 November 2004

      Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, said on Tuesday it would agree to establish officially-sanctioned unions in its 40-odd Chinese stores, but only if its workers requested that it form one.

      Wal-Mart, which has long battled to keep unions out of its stores in the US and around the world, has been under pressure from the All China Federation of Trade Unions, an official organisation, to allow it to esta
      • Now I understand why the are no and are unlikely to ever be any wallmart stores in Australia. They would immdediately come under attack from every kind of trade union in Australia. I doubt that could even get a store built for them, let alone start trading from it.

        Not that unions makes much difference in china, trade unions only really exist and function properly in democratic countries, which is the reason why good trade unions put so much effort into ensuring their countries do remain properly democrati

    • Yeah, except the Quebec courts upheld the non-compete before when Tremblay spearheaded the enforcement against his former employees...

      How he could have expected to not have this thrown at him is a mystery. There is news in the pipeline though, expect to hear from Tremblay on the matter soon! (I've only seen the French news report so far, it'll get anglo press soon)
  • Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Snowman ( 116231 ) * on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @02:41PM (#15248238)

    I don't know about the legality of such clauses since I am not a lawyer (but I am inclined to think they are legal), but I do think they're dumb. What it does is close doors for the employee. Fired? Don't like your job? Too bad, you can't work for a competitor. While this doesn't lock the employee out of the industry entirely, it does restrict them from a specific area, for example, game companies, security companies, OS companies, etc. So you have tons of C++ and graphics experience working for a game company? Well now you can learn a whole new skillset with Java, Oracle, AJAX, etc. and go write web applications. Sure, it's still programming, but it's totally different technology, different programming paradigm, and requires time to adjust.

    Gun, meet foot. Pull trigger.

    • Fired? Don't like your job? Too bad, you can't work for a competitor.

      Anybody who signs a conrtact with the ability to apply a "non-compete" clause to an employee that doesn't quit voluntarily has to be a real sucker. I would certainly hope that it's not legal in that case.
    • but I am inclined to think they are legal

      The legality of non-compete clauses is largely regional. In the US alone, the degrees to which such clauses are valid varies from state to state. From country to country the differences are even greater.
      • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Informative)

        by tlhIngan ( 30335 )
        The legality of non-compete clauses is largely regional. In the US alone, the degrees to which such clauses are valid varies from state to state. From country to country the differences are even greater.


        IANAL, but I believe in Canada, the courts have to see the "reasonableness" of the non-compete - is it for a specific geographica area for a specific period of time, that sort of thing. And the courts in general, when it is an individual v. a group (company, association, etc) fighting a case where the indivi
    • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hyfe ( 641811 )
      (but I am inclined to think they are legal)

      They are in the US. They're not here in Norway.

      I'll take Socialism and Civil Rights over the right to be fucked over any day.

  • by MAXOMENOS ( 9802 ) <maxomai@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @02:42PM (#15248258) Homepage
    What's this guy supposed to do between now and when his NCA expires?

    Wait for Godot?

    Work in another field?

    Hope that two years of letting his valuable skills sit unused won't affect his marketability?

    Eh?

    • What's this guy supposed to do between now and when his NCA expires?

      Exactly. I believe in some places, these are almost unenforceable -- you can't deny someone their livelihood.

      If I can't work for a competitor for two years, you better be paying me for those two years. Otherwise, it makes no sense!
  • quick English lesson (Score:5, Informative)

    by matthewn ( 91381 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @02:43PM (#15248267)
    Heads up: You cannot "injunct" something. That ain't a word. The verb you do when you file an injunction is "enjoin." So, "Ubisoft ENJOINS Tremblay FROM Joining Vivendi."
  • I have heard, though I have no idea from who at this moment, that very broad noncompete documents are pretty useless. The theory is that you can't cause someone to forgo their livelyhood. So even though they signed the document, the courts (supposedly) refused to enforce if they cause undue hardship. For example, a noncomp in CS in biosciences may make it fairly impossible for someone to use their 10 years of experience and force them take a lesser position outside of the bioscience domain.

    That seems reason
  • more like some other guys rights offline, am I right or what?
    • Wait until they come for you.
      • This whole thing is inane. If you don't like an element of a contract, don't sign it. If you DO sign a contract and think to yourself "this section'll never stand in court" then you can't really complain when you wind up in court.

        I wish him luck, I think NC clauses are dumb, but the last time someone asked me to sign one, I just crossed out that section and went on with my life. He's simply paying the price for signing something he didn't want to agree tol
        • the last time someone asked me to sign one, I just crossed out that section and went on with my life

          Ding ding ding! This is the correct response. Contracts are negotiations, if you sign without reading, understanding and accepting everything within, you have no right to bitch later. Next time you find a non-compete that restricts you from working in the same industry AFTER you have left the current company, cross it out. What are they going to do?

  • Make Them Pay (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @05:59PM (#15249845) Homepage
    I'd like to see the law changed to state that non-competes are only enforceable if the ex-employee is paid full wages and benefits for the period of the non-compete. If they want to keep someone out of the labor market, let them pay for it.
    • That's the general term for this sort of thing: you're still technically employed full time by the company and therefore cannot work for another, but you're at home for 2-3 months with no actual responsibilies or duties. So you putter around in the garden :) Not exactly the same as a non-compete, but far more sensible.
  • While I dislike NCAs, and posted earlier how they may not be seen by the courts favoriably, I've come across an article about how he defended Ubisoft's non-compete agreement [shacknews.com] when accused by EA for locking up employees by non-competes.

    Funny how the shoe is on the other foot now.

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