> TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Ignoring for a minute those situations
> where the computer belongs to the company and the worker _should be_
> attending to the business of his employer. In those cases I do agree
> the computer's output should belong to the employer. I am thinking
> now instead of those cases where one has an account with an ISP such
> as Yahoo for example: If I am _renting_ the use of the computer then
> the computers output should belong to me. Another example might be
> I live on a farm and rent or lease a machine to plant my crops. Now
> my crops grow and are harvested. Do the crops belong to you since I
> rented the machinery from you to do my work? If I am employed on the
> farm and work with your tools, then I suppose the crops are yours
> also. But not if the machinery, etc is under my exclusive control for
> some period of time. PAT]
I will try to address some of your more relevant points.
I am thinking now instead of those cases where one has an account with
an ISP such as Yahoo for example: If I am _renting_ the use of the
computer then the computers output should belong to me.
The issue here is the intellectual property. The output of the
computer belongs to you. You are free to take it with you and do with
it as your heart desires. The other side of the coin is the data you
leave on the rented computer. It does not belong to you. It is the
property of the machine owner. All those temporary files Microsoft
creates and stashes where only the programmer knows are not yours once
you leave the machine and return it to its owner.
A case in point is the example of rental machines at Kinko's. Some of
us may remember a few years ago the problem of some people who rented
machines at Kinko's were finding confidential and personal information
that had been left by prior users. There are also instances where
these "public" machines have been siezed with a warrant for evidence
of illegal activities. The entire point being the owner of the
machine has the ownership of your intellectual property -- in this
case Yahoo! and the email files -- because you left them on their
machine. If you had taken them with you, or deleted them, then the
owner of the machine would not have your intellectual property.
Then Pat wrote:
> Another example might be I live on a farm and rent or lease a
> machine to plant my crops. Now my crops grow and are harvested. Do
> the crops belong to you since I rented the machinery from you to do
> my work?
And the answer to this is if you left your crop in the machine, then
yes, it is theirs.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: And of course, Lisa Hancock responded
that the crops actually belong to the owner of the land. I was
assuming I owned the land and had gone to the 'rent-a-tractor' place
before starting my work. PAT]