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Developer is Holing Source Code

Developer is Holing Source Code

     
6:41 pm on Dec 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Hello,
I have recently run into a problem:
A developer was hired to provide code ".net 2.0 C#" for website. Design, HTML, and Specifications were given to the developer.

Website was created and running great, however after the project was finished, I have decided to hire a different developer to make future modifications and found out that the code provided by the original developer is not a source code.

I have confronted original developer to provide a source code, to which he replied that the code is "His intellectual Property" and I would have to pay him more money if I want the code.

It is somewhat upsetting that after I created specifications and asked for the code to be written in a certain language, he considers it to be "His intellectual Property".

I would like to find out from the developers and project manages, if I was wrong not to specify "Source code .net 2.0 C#" vs "Code .net 2.0 C#", and can a developer hold the code hostage?

Thank You
9:33 pm on Dec 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Did you have a signed contract with the developer stipulating your expectations?
10:03 pm on Dec 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



This guy is either an idiot or a chancer. When you pay for bespoke code you get the source - there are no exceptions.

I have never said this before on webmaster world - Hire a lawyer and sue him.

For the record, if you specified the language in which the code had to be written, C# by the sound of things, this implies, with no possible escape clause, that you required the source code for the simple reason that you have specified the language in which the code must be delivered.

Kaled.
6:50 am on Dec 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



What does your contract say?

That said, we have never charged for source code on a web project.. But we have charged for source and licensing for stand alone programming, desktop apps and databases.. We always viewed these as separate tasks..

Laws vary from state to state as to who owns what at this point, but you could always threaten legal action if he is being unreasonable..

Another question, why are you switching developers?
12:48 pm on Dec 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lammert is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



When you pay for bespoke code you get the source - there are no exceptions.

Not delivering the source code is normal in many situations. It all depends on the way it has been worded in the contract (if any exists) and the country and intellectual property laws there. If the OP asked for a working solution according to his wishes, he got one in the form of the compiled code.
1:09 pm on Dec 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Not delivering the source code is normal in many situations.
I can only think of one - when you are contracting services for a specific period of time, put simply, a rental agreement.

If you are paying for bespoke code, you get the source. If the whole solution includes generic modules (libraries) then you would not normally get the source to those - typically they are written by someone else and come with their own license conditions.

In this case, if the author included library code that he himself has written and the contract specified separate terms for that part of the code (which is not bespoke) then he is entitled to keep that portion of the source code, but only that portion.

It is reasonable for the author to include terms such that the code cannot be resold but access to the source is always going to be required for maintenance.

Kaled.
2:41 pm on Dec 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Thanks for everyone input.
The contract states that "a developer to provide a .net 2.0 C# code"
For the record, if you specified the language in which the code had to be written, C# by the sound of things, this implies, with no possible escape clause, that you required the source code for the simple reason that you have specified the language in which the code must be delivered

That is what I figured also, and it sounds like it will be a strong legal argument from my end.

Not delivering the source code is normal in many situations. It all depends on the way it has been worded in the contract (if any exists) and the country and intellectual property laws there. If the OP asked for a working solution according to his wishes, he got one in the form of the compiled code.


Now I understand that this is a strong argument as well, however somewhat disturbing to me as I think of many small business owners that would just say "I need a website where I can sell my products" and do not know what they are getting into in a long term.

Thanks
Ilya
2:57 pm on Dec 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Another question, why are you switching developers?

Mainly because I came to realize that this developer provided one price for the creation of the code, and his rates seemed to go up 3 times for modifications.
 

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