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Who owns the source code?

 
James Hodgkiss
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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
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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
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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.
 
Kr Manish
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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.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Yes. The code is part of the software. Otherwise they can never modify the application.
 
Mike Isano
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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
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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
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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
 
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