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Yes unless a contract is written and payment fulfilled. Anything that freelancer creates belongs to the freelancer not the buyer. This is one big legal difference to freelancing and employment. Yes without a contract the freelancers are legally entitled to sell the code (it’s not yours) to anybody else.


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In any creative venture, be it artwork, fiction writing, markup writing, coding, music, film.... the "work" is copyrighted and owned by the creator the moment it is created. There are only 9 ways the author "loses" rights to the work. William Fisher, of Harvard Law, has an excellent lecture on copyrights. Specifically Lecture 5 part 3 ...


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