Re: Give Clients Softcopy?

Subject: Re: Give Clients Softcopy?
From: Bruce Covell <brucec -at- CCTECH -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 10:33:56 +0000

Interesting viewpoint. Does your company retain all rights to the
source code and documentation? Specifically, I mean copyrights. If
not, and the copyright is in your client's name, then, in my not
so legal opinion, the source code and docs belong to your client
and all you are doing is holding them for safe keeping.

Generally, I think that issues of copyright and ownership need to be
spelled out in the contract or work agreement. Would anyone with
experience in the legal aspects of this issue care to comment?


Bruce Covell

> Pete Holman wrote:
> >
> > Hey gang,
> >
> > The writers at our software company sometimes are asked to write
> > custom=20 documentation for our clients. The vice-president in
> > charge of custom=20 projects wants to provide clients with the
> > softcopy source files.

> I am against it too, unless there will be a hefty price attached to
> the source files.

> I work at a custom software company. Our policy is NOT TO SELL our
> source code. If we were to sell our code, we would basically be
> giving our lifeblood away. We have never given softcopy
> documentation either.

> I can recall one instance in which management considered selling our
> source code. It was a "client from hell" and we had tried for far
> too long to appease them. We were willing to sell them all our
> source code for their system in order to terminate the business
> relationship with them, just to get them out of our hair. But in
> the end, it didn't happen.

> It comes down to this... you give away your source files (computer
> programs, documentation, whatever) and you are relinquishing the
> opportunity of getting their business in the future for revisions,
> major updates, etc. Maybe the client is staffing up internally to
> handle the business you do for them, or they could pass it on to a
> competitor for those future updates. Is your company willing to
> give this up?

> Gee, does Coca-Cola give give their secret recipe on every can and
> bottle? :-)

> Just one person's opinion...

> --
> Kim Keegan | keegan -at- explorers -dot- com
> "I love my job!" -- Sarcastic or Sincere? You decide.

> ~~~
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A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.

Bruce Covell Cooper and Chyan Technology Inc.
brucec -at- cctech -dot- com 1601 S. De Anza Boulevard
408.342.5630 Cupertino, CA 95014

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