[nycphp-talk] Ownership of Code

Ken Downs ken at
Sat Jan 13 16:56:30 EST 2007

tedd <tedd at> wrote: >  > Do you see the common thread
here? There are things you have control  > over and there are things that
you don't -- and, you don't have much  > control over the net. So, if
you're going to work on the net, then  > stop worrying about your code,
let clients do what they want (in most  > cases they don't know anyway),
and get on with your life. >  > Sure, you can (and should) address the
ownership aspect of your work  > product in your contracts, but realize
that it's nearly a moot point  > when it comes to enforceability. >
Tedd, overall well put, but I would add one more detail.  Sometimes its
not about enforceability but about expectations.  A contract, like a
lock, only keeps honest people honest.  But just as a lock says,
"you need permission to enter here", a contract stating ownership
of code indicates to the customer what kind of relationship you expect. 
I can think of two cases where this came in very handy for me.  In one
case the client objected strongly to a clause in my contract, which hit to
the very base of how I worked.  Ultimately I had to let that one go, as
i figured he'd be an unprofitable customer.  But what if the contract
had not raised this point, we went forward, and then discovered how far apart
we were in expectations?In a similar case the contract caused my client to ask
a lot of detailed questions that gave us a better understanding of each
other's position, and we have worked well together.
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