[nycphp-talk] Ownership of Code

David A. Roth rothmail at
Thu Jan 11 21:29:54 EST 2007

The best legal source for copyright in the US, is the US Copyright 
Office at:

Copyright defaults to the author unless it is stated such as in a 
contract. If your contract has "work for hire" then you do not own the 
copyright, the company or person who hires you does.

In any case, it is best to make this clear to any client so they act 
accordingly.  If the client feels, they must own the copyright to the 
source code than that's up to you to determine what that may be worth 
to you. Perhaps you want more money for doing so, or you can offer a 
non-exclusive license to the source code if you feel it is something 
you want to reuse.  I believe it is a bad business practice to not 
discuss this aspect and it should be made clear in a contract who owns 
the copyright and if there is an exclusive or non-exclusive license.

David Roth
rothmail at

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