[Dune-devel] Dune-Project Mailing lists

Jö Fahlke jorrit at jorrit.de
Tue Aug 6 18:34:31 CEST 2019

Am Di,  6. Aug 2019, 14:14:10 +0200 schrieb Oliver Sander:
> > I do have permission from my new employer to continue administration of the
> > mailing list server in my free time, for now.  I would actually like to
> > continue doing that.  The plan would be to move the server from the WWU to the
> > Hetzner cloud[1], which offers locations inside germany.
> I wouldn't object to that.  I suppose that such a move will not affect the
> list archives?

That particular move won't affect the archives.  It'll basically be the same
VM under a different IP.

Though in the medium term there is a need to replace Mailman 2 as the list
manager (because that is no longer developed upstream).  Whatever the
replacement, the URLs in the list archive would likely not be the same,
creating a need for a redirect-farm.  But we'll cross that river when we need

> Out of curiosity: Why do you need permission of your employer for something
> that you plan to do in your free time?

As far as I understand it, there are three reasons (probably more).

- They want to ensure that you don't overwork yourself in your free time.
  I.e. if you invest all your energy into your spare time projects, you're
  gonna be sloppy at work, and as most employers, their purpose in the great
  scheme of things differs from that of a charitable organization.

- They want to avoid conflicts of interest between you and them.  E.g. I'm
  pretty sure I would have trouble getting permission to contribute to any of
  the projects mentioned at

- The way things are right now, without even considering particular rules from
  the employment contract, what of your creations "belongs" to you and what
  "belongs" to your employer is pretty messy[1] (heavily favouring the
  employer, of course, but then again, that's why he's paying you).  In this
  sense, having up-front permission to contribute to particular open source
  projects avoids problems of the "hey, you were supposed to grant us
  _exclusive_ rights to that"-kind.


[1] Just because you have a funny idea in the shower on a weekend, then sit
    down and write a proof-of-concept software for that, all in you're spare
    time, does not mean you (as an employee) can use that as you please.  If
    this solves a problem you were supposed to solve anyway at work, you're
    employer has exclusive economical rights to that software.  If it wasn't
    your duty to write that kind of software, but it turns out to be useful
    anyway to your employer, it is quite possible he has non-exclusive
    economic rights to it.  You may (or may not) be eligible to some extra
    compensation, but either way, you as the author are quite limited in your

    For instance, see this case:
    I recommend a quick read through the ArbnErfG before, and a glance at the
    UrhG, particularly the sections pertaining to computer programs.

Jorrit (Jö) Fahlke, Institute for Computational und Applied Mathematics,
University of Münster, Orleans-Ring 10, D-48149 Münster
Tel: +49 251 83 35146 Fax: +49 251 83 32729

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience often comes from bad
-- Mulla Nasrudin
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