That DID help to clarify what they wanted

This company provides services to regional automobile dealerships. One of those offerings: sales, financing and inventory-control software, which this pilot fish supports.

But eventually fish moves on -- and that's when he gets a call from one dealership that's a soon-to-be-former client of his old employer.

"They heard I now owned a small software-development business," says fish. "They're interested in dumping the old company and want to know if I can develop competing software for them."

That sounds like a good opportunity to expand his business, so fish sets up a meeting.

Turns out the assignment is simple: The dealership wants software just like what fish's former employer provided.

Sure, says fish, I can develop new software to meet your needs.

"No," the guy from the dealership says, "we don't want new software. We want it to be exactly like the old software."

Then he hands fish the distribution diskette for his old company's software. "Will this help?" he asks.

Reports fish, "I told them thanks for the opportunity, but I didn't want to spend the next few years of my life -- and the pittance they were willing to pay me -- defending a copyright infringement lawsuit."

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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