The Real Story at Radio Shack (was Re: Radio Shack Story)

The Real Story at Radio Shack (was Re: Radio Shack Story)

Post by Will Whit » Mon, 12 Jul 1999 04:00:00

He he, it tempts me almost enough to go get a job there, then demand they
publish my novel. . .Generally, intellectual property agreements are
automatically made null and void if the party who gains rights refuses to use
them. . .Oh, and it is a bad novel, a very bad novel. . .he he


> >Do you know a Store employee signs over all rights to anything they discover,
> >invent or create while at Radio Shack? Even if they do this in their off
> >time.

> You do know that this has been a problem in corporate America for quite a long
> time.  Some very celebrated lawsuits have addressed this very issue.

--
Will White, KD7BFX


 
 
 

The Real Story at Radio Shack (was Re: Radio Shack Story)

Post by Peter Ma » Tue, 13 Jul 1999 04:00:00


Quote:>Do you know a Store employee signs over all rights to anything they discover,
>invent or create while at Radio Shack? Even if they do this in their off
>time.

You do know that this has been a problem in corporate America for quite a long
time.  Some very celebrated lawsuits have addressed this very issue.  Including
one that made worldwide headlines about a pushbutton release ratchet and socket
set marketed by Craftsman.  Sears lost, and had to pay the inventor, at the
time a Sears employee $60 million dollars.  

A lot of companies have this clause.  Many of them do not stand up to a court
test.  In cases where they do, it can be argued that the intellectual property
of the company and its resources were used to develop the discovery, invention,
or creation.  Most of the time, though such is not the case, and the claim by
the company is disallowed.  But you're right, it is  a deterrent to qualified
employees taking a job.  

Quote:> Write an article and RS owns the rights to it.

Again, court tests have indicated that this claim rarely holds water for the
same reasons.

Quote:>Radio Shack Employees can not operate any type of BBS, Web Page
>or any type of electronic internet system while employees of Radio Shack.

This I"ve not heard, but the statement itself raises some solid questions.

The fact is that there are some rights, in this country, that one cannot sign
away.  This has been tested in the courts since there have been courts, and
despite the political leanings here in the 90s, there are still rights that
cannot be usurped by, or surrendered to an employer.  But demonstrating this
requires a court test, and again that alone is a good deterrent to keep many
people from trying.

Radio Shack may or may not forbid BBS, Web Page operation, or internet system
operation by its employees, but with nearly everyone in the free world now
accessible to free Web Pages through their ISPs, this restriction would be not
only difficult to police, but nearly impossible to enforce with any meaning.  
Unless it can be demonstrated that there is a conflict between the contents of
the page, and RS interests.  And while there are plenty of those who would not
seek to test their rights in the matter, it would not serve RS interests to
enforce such a policy, given that most high school and college students, who
seem lately to make up a bulk of RS sales employees, have some stake in an
internet enterprise.  Even if its just one's own AOL Web Page.

The document signed may indeed make these claims, if there is such a document,
but there are plenty of examples where they have not stood up to challenge.
More likely is the case that the claims are more qualified than presented here.

But the point of this claim is still more or less valid, it does narrow the
stream of qualified applicants.

Still, that puts the responsibility for the culture of Non Information back in
the hands of the corporate leaders.  They don't care who works the counter.
Their policies are directly reflected in the hires behind the counter.  If they
cared, such restrictive policies would have been changed.