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I'm developing a Wordpress plugin for a client, given the fact that Wordpress itself is GPLv2 in the following scenarios should I put a license for the plugin or not?

  1. Based on our agreement the client is the copyright holder of the plugin
  2. I'm the copyright holder of the plugin
  3. The matter of copyright ownership is not discussed

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Based on my experiences doing freelance software work for 10+ years: You should always have an agreement between yourself and the client. Whatever license file you put in the plugin is not just for the client but in case some non-client person gets the plugin later.

When you create a plugin you are creating additional code that runs within WordPress. You are not adding to WordPress itself. An analogy is if you created a phone App. Creating the app doesn't mean you modified/extended the phone OS that the app runs within. You could put whatever restriction on your plugin that you wish.

I would never leave these questions to guessing. When you make an agreement with a client you should have an opinion about what you require/want. They will also have ideas about what they want. Then based on how badly you both want something there is negotiation/compromise. Generally I would never give 100% copyright of any code I created because it could limit my ability/ease of doing future work. I would happily tell the client that they own 100% any of their business ideas/processes. But any unique code was mine. Almost everyone was okay with that. The more money they had the more okay they were with it too. It was the people who could barely afford fast food who were the most difficult to work with. Although if you get into guaranteed monthly pay situations (practically salaried) but independent contracting the client expects way more control regardless of their money situation.

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