Computer code is a work of authorship subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. This is easy to forget in the open source community where software is freely licensed and re-distributed. But “license” implies the existence of a valid copyright. And software authors who fail to properly establish their copyrights will have a hard time enforcing any purported licenses in court.
Employee Assumes He Has Ownership of Code A recent decision by a federal judge in Alabama illustrates the problems that a software developer can face in enforcing copyright against their employer–or in this case, a former employer.