[nycphp-talk] Ownership of Code
dell at sala.ca
Thu Jan 11 18:48:46 EST 2007
I have a client that has run into a conflict with a previous
developer over the ownership of some php code, and it's brought up
some pretty big questions for me.
When I am under contract to develop some custom code for a client,
who owns the code after it is finished? I expect the quick answer to
be "It Depends".
In the particular case I mentioned, my understanding is that there
was no prior discussion of code ownership, or even a contract -- only
a brief, home-made copyright statement embedded in the source code
after it was completed. Can something like that really determine
ownership in a legal context?
My own position on this as a freelance developer (never really
discussed or documented in contracts), has been that any code I
write, or open source code that I install for a client belongs to the
client -- as long as I can reuse the same code that I write for other
projects and clients. Thats a pretty loose position, but my
relationship with clients has always been good and I haven't run into
any trouble so far. Am I, or my clients as risk here somehow?
What do the rest of you do? I'd be particularly interested in hearing
from other freelance developers. Any good resources out there for
learning about code ownership and licensing issues?
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