View Full Version : Who Owns the Coded Page?

02-21-2006, 01:51 AM
I have an interesting question, although this might not be the best forum for an answer. I'm developing a web page-based intranet order entry system and have been hired as a freelance developer. If the site/business owner wants to market my work (consisting of the intranet pages) and sell it to other companies or lease the package to other companies, who actually owns my work? The company is paying me for the development and I am working as a freelancer. Should I get royalties if the package is sold or leased to other companies?

02-21-2006, 01:53 AM
Did you sign a contract? I code templates for a site and I retain no rights to the templates. Usually the client gets full rights and you just get paid the fee to make the site at least thats how it is through my experience.

02-21-2006, 03:06 AM
No contract, but great pay!

02-21-2006, 06:52 AM
Yeah, you might want to sign some sort of contract because that is where things like this get laid out. That is if you are to collect royalties, if you aren't you probably don't need one for that aspect. However imo having a contract is a good idea all around.

Single Paradox
02-21-2006, 08:11 AM
I'm curious. If you don't mind my asking, how much are you paid for this? I want to do this as well when I become of age.

02-22-2006, 03:12 AM
$40 per hour. I've already got 51 hours into the project and the client says he's got enough work for me through the summer:)

02-22-2006, 09:07 PM
Who owns the code where there is no contract depends on the circumstances which can vary from one country to another but basically come down to whether you are considered to be an employee of the person you are developing it for (and they own your work) or whether they are a customer of yours (and you own it).

02-22-2006, 09:19 PM
You do not own the code if you where paid for the development of it. Unless otherwise specified by the contract (Which you dont have). You get no royalties no nothing. And 40$'s an hour is to cheap. That is why he has tons of stuff for you to do.

02-23-2006, 08:21 PM
I'd follow up with this...

You may not "own" the code in its final version, but if you're like most developers, you come across the same problems over and over and over again and begin to develop code libraries to handle common tasks (such as a contact form, search form, database interaction and so on).

As this grows, you find faster and easier ways to develop an application. The benefit to the client is lower costs, but the trade off is, if you come up with something that can be considered "common knowledge" as in the examples above, you can re-use the code on another project.

One caveat to that is if you sign a non-disclosure agreement. Then all the code the client paid for is theirs.

03-13-2006, 01:38 PM
if a client pays you by the hour for the complete developmenttime, then all code that you write during the developmenttime should be his property.

I usually make an arrangement with the client, and the rate i charge him is different if he wants the exclusive rights over the developped code (about 3 times higher then if i'm allowed to reuse the code).

It's probably a good idea to put it in writing, and to specify there if:
1) the client gets only the compiled code (no source)
2) gets the source but no exclusive rights over them
3) gets the source + exclusive rights

If he opts for 2), then it's also very important to agree on what is considered as reusable code. Because every client will have these special requirements that can only be met with some clientspecific code you can't reuse (and for which he should then pay the full price).

12-16-2006, 03:47 PM
You do not own the code if you where paid for the development of it.

This is not true in the United States! Do a search for "work for hire" law.

If are not an employee you own the right to the code even if you were paid to develop it.

If you do give over the ownership, the new owner can then resell your code and make money on it. So be careful with this. If you're giving them the source code be sure to prohibit them from reselling the code unless you are properly compensated.