[nycphp-talk] Ownership of Code

Dell Sala dell at
Fri Jan 12 12:46:25 EST 2007

Thanks everyone for your detailed responses. Great discussion!

> 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.

In a case like this it sounds like the copyright would default to the  
developer, but the client would have a long-term license to modify  
and extend for their own use, as long as there is no resale.  
Obviously my client should consult a lawyer if things get hairy, but  
this seems like a good starting point.

As for my own policy, I'm leaning towards Ken's suggestion of  
retaining all copyright over the code, but providing a perpetual  
license for the client to use, and copy/modify/extend without resale.

While it appears there's lots of room for debate here, this sounds  
like the safest way to me, and I suspect that the client will be  
satisfied as long as their license doesn't restrict their own ability  
to use and extend. This appears to sidesteps most the murky waters  
where things can get unpleasant.

-- Dell

More information about the talk mailing list