At 03:26 PM 9/4/2003, Tim Fifield wrote:
If I have a valid license of Protel registered to the company I work for am
I legally allowed to use it for work that I'm doing for another company?


"Legally allowed" is a somewhat vague term, in fact. But I'll agree with all the others who noted that there is nothing in the Protel license that would prohibit you from doing this.


"the company I work for" also does not give us, really, much information. All we know from it is that you use Protel to do work for that company. Your relationship with that company is unstated. Are you an employee? A contractor or independent designer?

Generally, if something isn't illegal, it's legal.... I can't think of any law, as such, that would prohibit you from using that company's license to do other work. However, when and how you do the work might be an issue, and there are, as others have mentioned, possible ethical issues.

If you don't do anything to injure the company that owns the license, and you don't violate the terms of your employment with them, you are legally safe, I'd say. But that doesn't necessarily make what you would do ethical.

The company which owns the license does have the right to set conditions on your use of the license. I've been provided with licenses many times by companies, and they were always quite happy to let me use the license for other work, as long as it did not get in the way of my work for them.

To get more to the meat of the matter, let me suppose what might be a common situation: you are using Protel at work, perhaps you have a full-time job with the company. You want to take your CD home and install it on a computer there and moonlight doing other work.

Protel reps have often stated that they do not mind such multiple installations, as long as the same license is not used by more than one user at a time.... So there wouldn't be a problem with Protel. But if I were your employer, I'd definitely want to know if you were doing outside work. I'd want to be sure that I was getting full value from you. I wouldn't care about you using the license, I'd care about you using your own time, perhaps coming to work for me tired, burned out.

If you were only working part-time for me, I'd very easily allow you to do outside work, and I'd be happy to be able to assist you by allowing you to use the license -- as long as I didn't need it for someone else at the same time.

Bottom line is, ethically -- and maybe from a legal standpoint as well, it depends on your arrangement with your employer -- you should really let the employer know what you are planning to do. The Protel license, as such, is not the problem.

Both companies are in a different field of electronics and would not be
competing in any way.

This really has nothing to do with the license. If the two companies were direct, cut-throat competitors, there is nothing about the license agreement that would prevent you for using it for both companies, the one that owns the license and its competitor. Your employer, however, might be a tad concerned....




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