1

I just started my career as an online freelancer and even though I try to do my best I have this constant stress & anxiety about what will happen if there is a huge unwanted issue/bug in my code?

For example, what if my software crashes completely because of some bug and causes huge financial/reputation damage to the company?

I always say to clients that I will fix any bugs found for free for at least 6 months, but I'm still concerned, will I be held responsible? what if there is a lot of money involved? should I pay for the damages?

For this reason, I recently started putting Mozilla Public License 2 in all my codes, so basically my customers can even re-sell the code, I rather have that than have stress about the future.

Any advice/legal-notes/ideas are greatly appreciated.


P.S. I'm a PHP coder so the source is always provided to the customer

P.P.S. In case it's relevant, I am diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

1

Although you've agreed to fix bugs or other defects, that doesn't necessarily make you liable for the damage caused by those defects.

The Mozilla Public License, which you're using for your code, includes terms to help protect the code's contributors and distributors against liability:

*  7. Limitation of Liability                                          *
*  --------------------------                                          *
*                                                                      *
*  Under no circumstances and under no legal theory, whether tort      *
*  (including negligence), contract, or otherwise, shall any           *
*  Contributor, or anyone who distributes Covered Software as          *
*  permitted above, be liable to You for any direct, indirect,         *
*  special, incidental, or consequential damages of any character      *
*  including, without limitation, damages for lost profits, loss of    *
*  goodwill, work stoppage, computer failure or malfunction, or any    *
*  and all other commercial damages or losses, even if such party      *
*  shall have been informed of the possibility of such damages. This   *
*  limitation of liability shall not apply to liability for death or   *
*  personal injury resulting from such party's negligence to the       *
*  extent applicable law prohibits such limitation. Some               *
*  jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of           *
*  incidental or consequential damages, so this exclusion and          *
*  limitation may not apply to You.                                    *

Many other popular licenses, such as the MIT License and the GPL, include similar terms to limit your liability.

To be safe, though, if you want to make sure you're not at risk then you should also consult a lawyer who's familiar with software licensing issues.

2

Regardless of what services you provide to your clients, you should invest in Professional Liability Insurance and General Liability Insurance, or their equivalents.

Will I be held responsible?

You might very well be held responsible. It is your code after all.

What if there is a lot of money involved? should I pay for the damages?

You might very well be responsible for damages or financial losses.

This is why it's critical that you protect yourself with the appropriate insurance.

  • But how do I get an insurance for working on Freelancer.com, there is absolutely no contract between me and the employer, I just set a bid, get approved, do the job and get paid. and I also provide the code under "Mozilla Public License 2" – J. Doe Aug 19 at 21:58
  • 1
    It doesn't matter how or where you work or through what agency or website. If a client wants to sue you they'll sue you. Whether or not they have cause. That's what insurance is for. There are many companies that sell PLI and GLI insurance. – joeqwerty Aug 19 at 23:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.