Copyright Assignment


#1

I am 192 hours into a project and NOW the owner of the company (not the one who I have been working with) wants a contract signed which includes the assignment of copyright ownership. My rate was based on the exclusive use of the application as a complete work for use by this company only.

They tell me now that they want to licence/sell the app to other companies in their industry.

My question is, how have any of you dealt with the assignment of copyright (Ownership of the source code). Do you work at an increased hourly rate?, Negotiate a flat rate for the transfer of copyright? Since there is much more they want to do it is impossible to know how much more code there will be for them to own so doing a flat rate agreement today doesn’t seem wise.

In all my years of coding this has never come up.


#2

Tough to deal with… But the original contract is still binding. If the break the terms of the agreement, it is time to renegotiate the terms, and offer a buyout. The portion making this more complex is the continuing deliverables, are they part of the original contract or was the contract on a continued bases with no end point?


#3

Oops, Important fact. There is no contract currently in place.


#4

Alrighty then!

How is the work structured then? Hourly? Deliverables? Is there an actual schedule?


#5

The work is done hourly. They can have all the code up to where they paid in full for. But so far nothing has been delivered. There is an online demo for them to view progress and provide feedback. Not a schedule but a list of components or functionality to be done. For them I code up to what they paid in full plus a thousand on credit.


#6

I typically give the client the code on all projects

One I didn’t start that way, but went from it being mine to them buying me out, basically, your predicament.

It was a few years ago, but I believe it was a 50% addition to the original cost, due to lost profits I would have been out at a minimum for a SaaS application.


#7

I’ve always sold full ownership of the code so they would be free to ddo whatever they want with it.

I’d consider advising them on how the product can be made a SaaS app, so they don’t have to sell it with new installations etc. Makes it easier for everyone and the recurring payment model is attractive for both parties.

It will of course probably come with additional costs, I’m sure the original app isn’t built to handle multiple sites/subscriptions/scaling/etc