[nycphp-talk] Ownership of Code
tedd at sperling.com
Sun Jan 14 12:02:45 EST 2007
At 4:56 PM -0500 1/13/07, Ken Downs wrote:
>tedd <tedd at sperling.com> 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.
Yes, I agree totally and that's the reason why I said that you should
address those concerns in your agreement, in whatever form that may
Without exception, I always spell out what's important to me and try
to explain in clear detail to the client as to what their rights and
obligations are. I do this only for clarification and not for "under
threat of law suit".
You see, I spent over 20 years in continuous overlapping lawsuits --
while I made more money than I should have, it took it's toll and I
never want to be in anther law suit in my life. You don't like doing
business with me, or want your money back -- here it is. In fact,
almost all my work is paid on approval. But, don't tell anyone that.
http://sperling.com http://ancientstones.com http://earthstones.com
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