GeeCON Prague 2014*
The moose likes Jobs Discussion and the fly likes Who owns the source code? Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


JavaRanch » Java Forums » Careers » Jobs Discussion
Bookmark "Who owns the source code?" Watch "Who owns the source code?" New topic
Author

Who owns the source code?

James Hodgkiss
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 22, 2004
Posts: 401
I created a webapp for a client recently. They've also asked me for the source code. Are they entitled to it??

Cheers,
James
Lester Burnham
Rancher

Joined: Oct 14, 2008
Posts: 1337
That depends on the contract you made with the client. Generally, if all work that went into it was paid for by the client, then yes - they own the source code, and you wouldn't be allowed to use it in any other context.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11358
    
  16

Agree. The contract should spell out who owns the source code. If it doesn't, or there is no contract, then it gets trickier. I'm not sure if there is a legal precedent in whatever country you live in, but there is also the reputation angle to consider. If they feel they are entitled to it, and you don't give it to them, they can spread the word that you didn't follow through on your obligations (which may or may not be true). Something you have to consider is whether the potential risk to your reputation outweighs anything you'd loose by giving it up.


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Kr Manish
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 138
In most of the cases, the company or the client for whom you create the code is the owner, unless otherwise mentioned. Just a norm that I have seen till now. There may be exceptions but this is the general norm.


You know what I am saying ?
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30598
    
154

Yes. The code is part of the software. Otherwise they can never modify the application.


[Blog] [JavaRanch FAQ] [How To Ask Questions The Smart Way] [Book Promos]
Blogging on Certs: SCEA Part 1, Part 2 & 3, Core Spring 3, OCAJP, OCPJP beta, TOGAF part 1 and part 2
Mike Isano
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 19, 2007
Posts: 144

I've never seen the client get the source on a project I worked on.

You don't get the source for windows.

You don't get exclusive rights to the blue prints when you contract someone to build a house.




Lester Burnham
Rancher

Joined: Oct 14, 2008
Posts: 1337
Mike Isano wrote:You don't get the source for windows.

That's because you licensed the binary; if you had contracted Microsoft to build it for you from scratch, you most likely would have. Apart from that, it depends entirely on the contract - and I've seen all kinds of those: exclusive use with source code, exclusive use w/o source code, non-exclusive use with source code, and non-exclusive use w/o source code.
Luke Kolin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Mike Isano wrote:
I've never seen the client get the source on a project I worked on. You don't get the source for windows. You don't get exclusive rights to the blue prints when you contract someone to build a house.


Are you familiar with the term "work for hire"?

Cheers!

Luke
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Who owns the source code?