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I realize this might not be the best forum for this, but I seriously need advice.

My current employer is about to fire me (i know via text i'm not supposed to see, but you know how working with friends can go). 65+% of the project is rightfully mine in that I never signed any waiver releasing the code yet. Renegotiation was supposed to take place very soon as the project is pretty much complete. I believe that's the real reason for the firing. The program itself stand to make millions in a very short time as it is a one of kind medical software in which the beta has had 300% positive reviews and we actually wrote it as a follow up to a version they had originally created 10 years ago. However, this new program is based off NONE of its ver 1 other than the name and concept. Is there anything I can do to ensure proper legal claim of my code and make sure My family and I aren't put on the street with nothing while these pirates seek to become millionaires again?

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closed as off topic by Justin Cave, Bernard, S.Robins, Jarrod Roberson, Walter Apr 30 '12 at 21:20

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Why do you think you have legal rights to the code? Did you bring code you'd already written before you joined this company into the project (code that somehow comprises 65% of this project's code)? Did they not pay you for the work you've done up until now? –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Apr 30 '12 at 21:07
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My advice is that you consult a lawyer and not random people online. –  Bernard Apr 30 '12 at 21:10
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Going out on a limb but if you wrote that code in exchange for money you have no legal claim however IANAL. –  Rig Apr 30 '12 at 21:12
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If you think this is the proper place to ask this question, and the first place you think of taking advice from is random people on a programming oriented site and not contacting a lawyer the first chance you got; I doubt the code you refer to is as special as you think it is. –  Jarrod Roberson Apr 30 '12 at 21:22
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If I were them I would be very nervous about getting sued. In any case this doesn't sound like "it would be nice if a lawyer looked at this", it sounds like "stop reading and find a lawyer". –  psr Apr 30 '12 at 21:47
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2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Get a lawyer and explain what is going on, you may have a wrongful termination case or you could sue them after the product releases for your share of profits like what the Winklvoss's did in regards to Facebook. Make copies of all communications, and get copies of any details on your employment and contracts signed. Above all stay as civil as possible throughout this, giving your employer any justifiable reason to fire you could potentially ruin any chance you have of getting fair compensation.

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It was my understanding that the Winklvoss twins never "won" that court battle. They decided to settle out of course, they from my understanding, regret that decision and are looking for additional compensation ( expressed using the words fairly ). The use of the Winklvoss twins is a really bad example, only 3 people really know what their agreement was, 2 of them are in a sense the same person. –  Ramhound May 1 '12 at 13:27
    
@Ramhound my comparison with them was chosen for notoriety and for the circumstances of the case not the end result. in both cases you have a party feeling they did not receive their share of profits from something they helped create in some capacity. –  Ryathal May 1 '12 at 14:21
    
Just a follow up. I did get a lawyer, did have wrongful termination and did get re-compensated along with a new contract leaving me to inherit a percent of anything sold. However, it's since been discovered, the man who fired me was embezzling millions of dollars and has almost left the company broke. He now faces serious prison time and problems of his own. I have since moved on, gained a much better long-term contract with another company and am much happier and wealthier being 400mi away from that headache. Thanks for the advice! –  SpYk3HH Jun 5 '13 at 13:13
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Is there anything I can do to ensure proper legal claim of my code and make sure My family and I aren't put on the street with nothing while these pirates seek to become millionaires again?

Get a contract stating you own all the code before your write it next time.

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Even though the question was closed as off-topic, this is better as a comment than an answer. –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Apr 30 '12 at 21:28
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