Re: altering delivered documentation

Subject: Re: altering delivered documentation
From: Scott Turner <sturner -at- airmail -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001 10:24:48 -0500

Regina wrote:

I strange (to me) situation has arisen in the project I'm working on. I'm
working on documentation for a web-based application. I user FrameMaker to
create the content, then convert to PDF. Customers will be given printed
documentation, as well as the same documentation "online" in PDF format. It
has been suggested by one of our managers that once the documentation is
delivered, they will need to be able to alter it as necessary. Our
documentation is copyrighted material, so I'm a little confused.

In any case, I'm more curious as to if this is the "norm" when delivering
documentation. Do you usually just hand it off to the customer and be done
with it? Our system includes implementation/customization and maintenance
contracts. In other words, we customize the application for each customer
as needed -- and to this point, my team assumed we'd be customizing the
documentation for the customers, as well.

This is not the norm for most copyrighted and proprietary material. If your company is customizing the material, what other changes need to be made? Are they under license agreement to reproduce or modify your product? Are they under license agreement to modify your copyrighted documentation?

Any compay that knowingly allows a customer of thier product to do this is tacitly giving up sole ownership of thier product. In some cases this is moot, as the customer will not do harm to your company. If you allow some companies to do this, you might find that they are reselling, or claiming the modified product as thier own.

Also, if the company decides to do this, what source files are you providing. What requirements are there for you to support this customer. What are the costs for doing so? Will your company be reimbursed? Will this require additional head-count in your department? Will budgets be increased? What impact will support or conversion of your FrameMaker files into another format that the customer uses have on your productivity?

This is a BIG and very messy can of worms.

It is not a good idea to let this go.



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altering delivered documentation: From: Snyder Heater, Regina

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