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Copyright Question

By TechnologyBrad ·
I created an MS Access 2000 database program for a company. This company asked me to write the program and we agreed that I would keep track of my hours and they would pay me hourly. Who owns the Copyright to the program? Do I since I wrote the program or do they since it could be "work for hire"? Any responses to this would very helpful.

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* They own it

by epepke In reply to Copyright Question

The title says it all

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They own it

by radiic In reply to * They own it

Have to agree. Without saying a whole lot they hired you to write something, you wrote it, they paid you for it. DONE

Rad

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Exactly, but....

by James R Linn In reply to * They own it

There is nothing saying you can't start from scratch and build the same thing for someone else, unless you have a specific clause in your agreement. Hopefully you would actually have at least some cosmetic differences and improve some of the code for the "next" customer.

But epepke is correct - unless you have a contract which states otherwise, the assumption is that if they paid for you to write that program, you cannot resell that specific work.

James

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Thanks

by TechnologyBrad In reply to Exactly, but....

Thanks. That's what I thought.

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Check out this article

by ElisaN@TR In reply to Copyright Question

There are some interesting legal issues about databases and copyrights, actually. Check out this article, if you haven't seen it already: "In depth: Don't count on copyright laws to protect databases"
http://www.techrepublic.com/article.jhtml?id=r00520010925ern01.htm

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Watch out

by ElisaN@TR In reply to Check out this article

Looks like a linebreak translated to a space in that URL, between the 2 and the 5. Sorry 'bout that.

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Protect your IP Rights

by rk_sopory In reply to Copyright Question

According to the IPR Laws, when any employee does any research activity in any organisation, the research becomes the property of the organisation. In this particular case, the software programmer has the right to display the comments in the start of the program and list out clearly as to who has written the program. But it would be better if there is a written agreement regarding the source code copyright. Without the explicit agreement in writing, the company is at liberty to own the source code as they have deemed to have purchased it after paying the money to the developer.

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Company may not own copyright

by Stella246 In reply to Protect your IP Rights

I did a lot of research on this after a different dept. wanted my source code for a large project. Short of talking to a copyright lawyer, I found the following:

If you are a contractor (i.e., NOT an employee), source code copyright is yours UNLESS you sign a contract expressly stating work-for-hire. Check this out for one source: www.bitlaw.com/copyright/ownership.html

My general criteria is how large the project and how 'unique' my solution (i.e., is it the basis for other projects thatwould put me in violation of my own code if I signed a work-for-hire)

P.S. I did not hand over the code, and thankfully, I'm still doing work for the company.

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