9

There are many variables. In short words, you have to know how to licence your work and this should happen when you write the contract with the client. Of course, there are many aspects of the problem you should consider: Does the work contain parts over which your client has full copyright (logo, text, colors, design, source code, trademarks)? What can you ...


8

Yes. It's exceptionally unethical in most instances unless it's agreed upon prior to the work being performed. In all probability the only reason this "program" was created was due to the client paying you to create it. Any client paying you only to then have you turn around and release, the product they paid for, for free is going to be very, very, very ...


7

In our line of work we sell two things: Our work (outright) and the rights to copyright it, OR The right to use the work (a license), and retain the copyright. We use the first approach when it's unlikely that we can market the same work to other interested parties because of its uniqueness. We hand it off. The client can use it, or flush it down the ...


4

TL;DR: I don't think that this would be OK. The best course of action would be to make your own designs (even if they're for example sites) and use those for your "samples". Your clients would get a great feel for how you design, which is what you want to showcase. Let's examine what Fair Use entails: Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 ...


4

Truth is.. even a contract won't protect you if you knowingly do something illegal. Imagine this... a woman hires you to steal her friends car.... you make her sign a contract that she is actually the thief and you are released from all liability and are only doing what you are hired to do. You steal the car... do you think the contract saves you from any ...


4

The application and source code is yours (assuming you wrote it) unless your contract specifically states this is "a work for hire". If you have no contract, the application and source code is yours. The U.S. copyright law has been this way since 1978, further clarified in early 1980s. Prior to 1978, the US copyright law was as described in answers posted ...


4

It is not "exceptionally unethical" as previously answered. Ethics has nothing to do with it as it is a matter of property. Just because a client pays you to develop a program for them does not automatically convey to them some ethical right of ownership to the work. After all it is the fruit of your labor. The property ownership is all that matters and ...


3

TL;DR Is it appropriate that I make him sign an agreement to this effect? NO; there's absolutely no need. One may ask; for what purpose? You CANNOT be truly protected for premeditated acts, not even with a written agreement! If he were facing any legal action, would it extend to me? If and only if you delivered further on the project after having ...


3

No it is not OK If you need to show samples of things you can do, but have not yet procured any clients, you should design your own static wireframe mockups (or live sample sites) to show people what you can do. Your clients will send you to other sites they like as part of the specification process, because you will ask them "what site designs on the ...


3

The question of whether you retain copyright or transfer/assign copyright to your client is more of a business question and a question of how you prefer to work. Many clients don't negotiate copyright ownership especially when issues regarding delivery of work and payment terms take greater precedence to both parties. If you educate your clients about ...


3

Welcome to the world of freelancing :). To reply: Yes that is normal what they ask and we face that every day. Now, what can you do about it? Options are: Give them full copyright to the code or give them ownership of the code. Most of us do that. Refuse to give code since it's you intellectual property. Some guys do that as well and this is especially ...


2

My contract states I have the right to display work for self-promotional purposes unless it is a work-for-hire situation or otherwise requested. In addition, in any non-work-for-hire situation you own the rights to everything except the final deliverables unless you've agreed otherwise. Now that doesn't mean you own the rights to the Coca-Cola logo, but ...


2

It would likely depend on your current contract of employment. Your contract (assuming you have one) may restrict the amount of work you do outside your main employment, for example. If your employer is abandoning a product, the non-compete clause may not apply as they are no longer in that particular business. As Canadian Luke says in the comments, you ...


2

You should take the routine to make any client (friends, family, or not) sign a well done contract (you can search here to find many posts about that) that contains also a releasing agreement on any material that he will give you or that he will use independently on your sites. In this case, I'm not a lawyer but I don't think that you can be involved in ...


2

Ideas by themselves are worthless. You can not sell just an idea. Whoever you are trying to sell it to doesn't know if your idea really is of any value to them. The only way to convince them that your idea is valuable to them is to tell them about your idea. But then they know the idea and don't need you anymore. There is no good way to protect your idea ...


2

There is no way you can make this happen the way you want it. Do you have a contact at this company? How will you get in touch with the right people? If it is indeed a major web services company you would be lucky to get the idea on the right level to begin with. You also assume that simply offering them the idea will make them all "Wow we need this!". ...


2

This depends on the contract you're working under (you're using a contract, right?), but generally with a work-for-hire gig, the source code you produce is also part of what you're selling. That said, you can't sell 'experience', so in six months when you come across a similar problem, you can say "Oh, I solved this this way a while ago," and write a new ...


2

You should never post sensitive source code publicly. I wouldn't pay you if I knew you'd share my project to the rest of the world. However, you may briefly write a description of the project on your blog and some screenshots.


2

Normally such matters should be discussed beforehand. A development-contract should always clearly state ownership and exclusivity! What you could do, is reach out to the client and see what he thinks of your Idea. Especially after some time has passed, he may also be interested in any further development open-sourcing can bring. Also, you could include him ...


2

Where are you located? Where is the party that is hiring you located? Much of the advice in this column so far would be quite illegal in the United States, and potentially so even if you are not located in the US. In the US, if you are hired to develop software, then that work is considered for hire, which means that unless the contract states otherwise, ...


2

You have to negotiate the ownership of the intellectual property when you hire an artist. Most artist will sell the rights, which is what you need, but it does generally cost more. By default, artists own everything they create unless there's a contract stipulating otherwise.


2

There is no need not to come down with a sledgehammer, nor to worry. They have no right to do that without your consent and they know it. Send them an e-mail firmly asking to withdraw your CV and abstain from using it. Demand an acknowledgement of that e-mail. It is also good to remind the previous message. If no acknowledgement comes, send them a ...


1

My clients tend to think that everybody out there want a similar software I've done for them and are reluctant for the source code to be published. What I do to show my work is recording demo videos where I run in Debug mode some of the web sites and desktop applications developed by me. A professional design and friendly user interfaces can be seen while I ...


1

Many jurisdictions have statutes of implied contracts, implied warranties, and more which cover situations when a dispute arises and where no written documents exist describing the arrangement. If you go to a restaurant there is an implied contract which assumes that you will be provided with food and service in exchange for payment. In most states a similar ...


1

Unless you have explicit permission to do so, sharing source code that you are being paid to correct is a bad route to take. Many clients will have objections to the source code they are paying for being published to the world. A description or short snippet could be included with a blog article, however having a full public repo is going to cause ...


1

I would not post source code that was written for clients publicly unless you have explicit permission from said client. The easiest (by far) way you can have open-source code as a freelancer that you can reuse and have as a portfolio is just to create reusable libraries that you can use in each client project, but keep the actual source for clients private....


1

I would not do this, as clients may have objections. You can try to make blog posts with specific screens trying to highlight something specific you worked on. You can contact and talk to your clients and ask specifically if they are ok for this part of the project, this module's code if I host on github, and in the process i might end up improving/...


1

You can't. Even if you create an NDA that's legal, and have them sign it, I'm guessing you don't have the resources to actually fight a 'major webservices company' in court, while they probably have lawyers already. Even if you fight them, I'm sure they can say they had this idea for a long time, and most surely they can come up with some 'proof'. Your ...


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