That's actually pretty common among big companies. Hasbro, for example, has that policy, as does American Girl, or Fox Searchlight (I believe). Whether or not that's "evil" is up for debate, but it is most certainly common practice.
Originally Posted by MonkWren
Actually that is most certainly not common practice. I've seen a few of those clauses and I've walked away from jobs due to them. I've also had contracts rewritten to have them removed. Disney is one of those that claims all
creative works or inventions while you're employed with them. This is regardless of where you create / invent, if its on company time or not, or if its in any way related to your normal job duties. You could for example be a janitor but paint at home. If Disney wanted to they could claim every single painting you created while employed by them. They have legal ownership of literally everything
you do with their employment contract! In fact, unless they've modified they're employment agreements recently, I believe it extends to at least a year after employment ends as well.
The real problem with their lockdown is that as an employee you simply lose your interest in growing your own skills or "stretching" to learn other things. I've known a number of people that work there and they basically do just enough to stay there and not a whit more. You can't work on a personal project you find interesting unless you're willing to fork it over if they like it. And according to your employment agreement they own it lock stock and barrel so you have no rights to it at all.
It doesn't explicitly make them evil of course but I'd never work for them under that particular restriction. In fact, I turned down a job offer from them about 14 years ago specifically because of that particular nastiness. *shrug*
Edit: Oh, and Hasbro... another company I'd never work for (or any subsidiary that fell under the same umbrella employment agreement) based on their employment requirements. The really interesting part of it is that they're really handicapping themselves more than anything else. If they'd work with employees like Google does then they could get talented individuals with great ideas to willingly work on personal projects under their umbrella so to speak. Offering assistance with possible merchandising/market application of those projects would benefit both the employee and the company overall. The approach they (as well as a number of other companies) have taken has the exact opposite effect that they should be going for!