Friday, January 6, 2012

who owns your brain?

Specialized is suing two former employees who left the company in 2010 to start their own bike company.

The company, Volagi, is producing a carbon bike design that is unlike anything Specialized currently offers -- see the clip for a brief explanation -- and it works well. So naturally, Specialized wants in on the potential profits.

Because the two men signed confidentiatlity agreements while working at Specialized, they are being sued for breach of contract. Specialized is saying, in short, that all ideas the two men thought of -- whether at work or in their free time -- are the property of the company and that the men should not have been able to start their own company.

This is capitalism at work. Small company succeeds, big company gets jealous and sues for loss of profits. So it goes after the very thoughts of the former employees as intellectual property. Seriously, this is the way things work now. And as long as corporations are allowed a measure of personhood (thank you, Supreme Court -- wankers) things will continue to be this way.

So watch your thoughts, people; and for heaven's sake don't sign anything that could give ownership of those thoughts to someone else.

It's a good thing I'm not an individual contractor being paid to compose music.

Frankly, I'm no huge fan of carbon fiber -- you'll never see a carbon bike under me -- but I support the little guy and hope this upstart prevails. If Volagi loses its lawsuit, I predict -- and even hope for -- a Specialized boycott.

2 comments:

Apis said...

Damnit!! The only saddle and shoes that fit me properly are made by this new evil empire.

Tom said...

It's pretty standar for specialized to sue people first as a scare tactic. The NDA that they make every employee sign when they are hired and are 'terminated' or quit is hardly a binding legal document in CA. Still, those guys gotta lawyer up and defend themselves against what will eventually be a routine but frivolous lawsuit.