Ed Wagner (11/26/2016)
Personally, when I post code or offer advice, it's to help people someone. I hope I have what they need, so I also hope they can use it and learn from it. If someone comes across it in the future, I hope they can learn something from it, use it or adapt it to their particular problem. I'm aware of the copyright law, but I honestly don't think it should apply to absolutely everything. After all, if the intent is to help someone, wouldn't it make sense that you'd want them to use it? I would.
Just a thought though, a lot of contractors that I know of have useful code that they carry around with them (particularly DBA's)
If the company owns this, where do they stand?
I couldn't agree more. And yes, an old post but still very important topic so thanks to Brad McGehee and SQL Server Central for bringing this up again.
I have always found it odd that companies hire techies and then decide that their work and knowledge belongs to the company. Their work, yes. But their knowledge? I bet the company wouldn't hire someone who had to "reinvent everything from scratch". So to me it is double standards more than anything: contractors develop tools which allows them to do a good job, fast, efficient, and as correct as they can make it. That is their value; and to me, they own it themselves. Regardless of contracts stating otherwise, they are paid to apply their knowledge, and the work resulting from it is subject to material rights.
Now, when good people help out others on the internet, they are 1) practicing their own skills by answering questions they don't make themselves, and 2) building their credits which in turn help them land the good jobs at the good pays. To me it would be very odd indeed not to answer questions and provide scripts (samples, examples, as well as comprehensive "tools") under a free license. Otherwise, these people should offer their help as consultants on a peer-to-peer basis, and not write on open forums.