Keith Collins writing on Quartz:
If it’s on company time, it’s the company’s dime. That’s the usual rule in the tech industry—that if employees use company resources to work on projects unrelated to their jobs, their employer can claim ownership of any intellectual property (IP) they create. But GitHub is throwing that out the window. Today the code-sharing platform announced a new policy, the Balanced Employee IP Agreement (BEIPA). This allows its employees to use company equipment to work on personal projects in their free time, which can occur during work hours, without fear of being sued for the IP. As long as the work isn’t related to GitHub’s own “existing or prospective” products and services, the employee owns it.
We're continuing to see a blurring between work and home: sometimes this is positive, sometimes not - but it's certainly the reality in our modern world. This seems like a step in the right direction, but the blurring of the lines of IP Ownership could force more cases to court, which could wind up hurting employees. This is a case for companies to wait and learn from GitHub's initiative.