Note, it is not a software licensing question, it is a "how to ask this from my boss" question. The IP part is here irrelevant.
In my current project, I have a relative high freedom, actually the goal is only specified and I am nearly free, how do I reach it. Thus, the specification sounds around so: "Make it ready ASAP".
Now I extended an open source build tool, which is part only in the development, but not of the end product. The reason to do that it was the fastest way to reach the project goal.
I did this work in my paid worktime, thus I think this code is the intellectual property of my employer. Thus, I am not allowed to make simply a github pull request from that.
But, I would like to do it.
Now the problems are the following:
- If I simply do this, it would be probably a violation of my work contract (unimaginable)
- If I ask the permission of my boss, it would sound like "I worked for others while you paid for me for that, now give your official consent for this" (dangerous)
- If I simply leave the code in our company repository, the world wouldn't profit from it. It will remain in the company repo and will be slowly forgotten (waste)
How could I contribute my improvement back to the open source community, while I don't cause dangers for myself?
P.s. the open source software is LGPL, which means we can extend it without contributing it back, only we couldn't sell it without providing the source.
P.s.2. it is a small German company.
P.s.3. having the company name in the contributors list would probably beautify its google search results (of the company).