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Client wants all intellectual property rights to the database

P: n/a
A client that I developed a database for about 5 years ago and continue to
do annual updates for has just requested "all intellectual property rights
related to the database". I believe he just wnat me to say "OK, here you go,
it's yours"

I have never come across this particular situation. We have a "reasonably"
good relationship. What should I do?
Paul
Dec 8 '06 #1
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13 Replies


P: n/a
"Paul H" <pa**@nospam.comwrote in message
news:Jq******************************@eclipse.net. uk...
>A client that I developed a database for about 5 years ago and continue to
do annual updates for has just requested "all intellectual property rights
related to the database". I believe he just wnat me to say "OK, here you
go, it's yours"

I have never come across this particular situation. We have a "reasonably"
good relationship. What should I do?
Paul
I don't believe that it's possible unless you can demonstrate beyond
reasonable doubt that all of your code is original and that all of your
schema is too. Lots of developers use other people's code, from snippets to
huge chunks - well I do at any rate and it's all credited where possible.
I've used lots of suggestions and solutions posted here, haven't you? Also,
what would happen if you wanted to used some of your original code in
another application? Would you have to license it from your client? I
don't see how it could work.

Just my 2p worth.

Keith.
Dec 8 '06 #2

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On Fri, 8 Dec 2006 09:45:15 -0000, "Paul H" <pa**@nospam.comwrote:

I like Allen's idea of just having a conversation with him about it.
In our company the transfer of all rights is a given: once the project
is done and the bills are paid, the source code becomes the client's.
They paid for custom software; they get the source code for that.
Next client will want a different piece of software to make his own.

-Tom.

>A client that I developed a database for about 5 years ago and continue to
do annual updates for has just requested "all intellectual property rights
related to the database". I believe he just wnat me to say "OK, here you go,
it's yours"

I have never come across this particular situation. We have a "reasonably"
good relationship. What should I do?
Paul
Dec 8 '06 #3

P: n/a
Paul H wrote:
A client that I developed a database for about 5 years ago and continue to
do annual updates for has just requested "all intellectual property rights
related to the database". I believe he just wnat me to say "OK, here you go,
it's yours"

I have never come across this particular situation. We have a "reasonably"
good relationship. What should I do?

Paul
"all intellectual property rights related to the database" !!!!!?????

Could you ask him for me, please, if I will still be able to use

"Dim strSomething as String"

freely?

and if not, what the charge or royalty is likely to be?

Dec 8 '06 #4

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Lyle,
As the world copyright holder of ...
"Dim strSomething as String"

.... I can confirm that you have a royalty free licence to use it in your
code, of course...
"strSomething = ..."

.... attracts our usual charge of 1000 UK pounds per character.

--

Terry Kreft
"Lyle Fairfield" <ly***********@aim.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@79g2000cws.googlegro ups.com...
Paul H wrote:
A client that I developed a database for about 5 years ago and continue
to
do annual updates for has just requested "all intellectual property
rights
related to the database". I believe he just wnat me to say "OK, here you
go,
it's yours"

I have never come across this particular situation. We have a
"reasonably"
good relationship. What should I do?

Paul

"all intellectual property rights related to the database" !!!!!?????

Could you ask him for me, please, if I will still be able to use

"Dim strSomething as String"

freely?

and if not, what the charge or royalty is likely to be?

Dec 8 '06 #5

P: n/a
Lyle Fairfield wrote:
Paul H wrote:
>A client that I developed a database for about 5 years ago and continue to
do annual updates for has just requested "all intellectual property rights
related to the database". I believe he just wnat me to say "OK, here you go,
it's yours"

I have never come across this particular situation. We have a "reasonably"
good relationship. What should I do?

Paul

"all intellectual property rights related to the database" !!!!!?????

Could you ask him for me, please, if I will still be able to use

"Dim strSomething as String"

freely?

and if not, what the charge or royalty is likely to be?
It would seem to me that such rights would have a large value. I
suggest you agree to sell them to him for $100,000.

ONce he gets up off the floor, you might ask him what he is trying to
accomplish and/or what he wants to restrict you from doing.

Bob
Dec 8 '06 #6

P: n/a
I would try to understand why he wants to do this. Odds are pretty
good that he's trying to "get a leg up" as they say, and cut you out of
the loop for a reason.

I would also try to convey the difference between owning the database
and owning the code, and that certain code is universally used and thus
can't be bought or sold. He can own the concept of how to get from A
to B and what happens once you get to B, but he can't necessarily own
the code used to get there.

My guess is that he just wants to be able to use his own guy to edit
the database without you pulling the plug on it because of rights
issues. It's sort of like a buy-out price for your services. But I
would ask him to be totally honest with you so you understand what's
going on. You don't want to end up like that guy at SCP who sold the
rights for DOS to Bill Gates...

Paul H wrote:
A client that I developed a database for about 5 years ago and continue to
do annual updates for has just requested "all intellectual property rights
related to the database". I believe he just wnat me to say "OK, here you go,
it's yours"

I have never come across this particular situation. We have a "reasonably"
good relationship. What should I do?
Paul
Dec 8 '06 #7

P: n/a

Paul H wrote:
A client that I developed a database for about 5 years ago and continue to
do annual updates for has just requested "all intellectual property rights
related to the database". I believe he just wnat me to say "OK, here you go,
it's yours"

I have never come across this particular situation. We have a "reasonably"
good relationship. What should I do?
Paul
-->Kill him and let Allah sort him out.

Dec 8 '06 #8

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Thanks to everyone who replied.

As was suggested, I have asked the client exactly what they want and why. I
have a sneaky feeling I wont get an answer.

I see now why we sometimes need lawyers.

:O)

Paul
Dec 8 '06 #9

P: n/a
I wrote an access database for a client after having them sign an agreement
that the source MDB version would remain my property. They get the MDE
version and any enhancements have to be done by me.

Its possible that they want to do enhancements to it by using an inhouse
coder or contractor without having to ask you.
It depends how big your database is and how important it is to the clients
business. they may offer you a fee to release it to them..

If its a small application, then its probably better for your relationship,
and a lot less hassle to give it to them making sure you have no further
liability for it.

If its a core system for them, then hang onto it as they will likely offer
you some dosh.
"Paul H" <pa**@nospam.comwrote in message
news:Jq******************************@eclipse.net. uk...
>A client that I developed a database for about 5 years ago and continue to
do annual updates for has just requested "all intellectual property rights
related to the database". I believe he just wnat me to say "OK, here you
go, it's yours"

I have never come across this particular situation. We have a "reasonably"
good relationship. What should I do?
Paul

Dec 8 '06 #10

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"tombsy" <ic***********@tiscali.co.ukwrote in
news:45**********@mk-nntp-2.news.uk.tiscali.com:
Its possible that they want to do enhancements to it by using an
inhouse coder or contractor without having to ask you.
It depends how big your database is and how important it is to the
clients business. they may offer you a fee to release it to them..
You also have to consider that if you've borrowed code from this
newsgroup, from the Access Web, from Microsoft and from other places
on the Internet offering sample code, you may not have the right to
sign over rights to it.

When a client wants source code to an app, I design a completely
different architecture for the code. I keep all code that is written
specifically for the app in one place, and all code that I'm
re-using from my own code library or from other people's code in
another place (during development I keep track of this using naming
conventions for the modules). When the app is released, they get am
MDE library database of the code that is not theirs and a license to
distribute that library as part of this application, but are
prohibited from using that library in any other apps or from
distributing it standalone.

This has worked pretty well in the past, but it's a lot of work to
plan the code architecture, and if it's an existing app that they
now wanted code rights, I'd charge through the nose for the process
of re-architecting it so that I could give them the source code that
was specific to their app.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Dec 8 '06 #11

P: n/a
"Paul H" wrote
A client that I developed a database for about 5 years ago and continue
to
do annual updates for has just requested "all intellectual property
rights
related to the database". I believe he just wnat me to say "OK, here you
go,
it's yours"

I have never come across this particular situation. We have a
"reasonably"
good relationship. What should I do?
Typically, I give my clients a worldwide, permanent, irrevocable,
non-exclusive license to use any code in the application developed for them,
but not the rights to sell it to others, and I retain ownership and full
rights, including the right to reuse any or all. I do not specifically
include or exclude my right to license the complete application to some
other organization, but the statement of rights I retain is sufficiently
broad to allow me to do so.

Larry Linson

Dec 9 '06 #12

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On Fri, 8 Dec 2006 17:13:39 -0000, "Paul H" <pa**@nospam.comwrote:

And you (presumably) did this by email????
No, this is a face-to-face meeting, or if that's impossible, a phone
call. You want honesty and body language.

-Tom.

>Thanks to everyone who replied.

As was suggested, I have asked the client exactly what they want and why. I
have a sneaky feeling I wont get an answer.

I see now why we sometimes need lawyers.

:O)

Paul
Dec 9 '06 #13

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We use the same approach. We have a source database including necessary
dialogues and reference or pick list tables, as well as the obvious
collections of standard and class modules, that is distributed as a
reference library in MDE form. That reference library is fleshed out
with only the modules and classes necessary to achieve our purposes.

For example, we have a calendar control that we're very proud of that
is an improvement over the standard ActiveX calendar, but isn't
required for all functional projects. The library distributed is
customized only in the sense that it contains the objects necessary to
make it work, so the calendar may not be required...though I've never
designed a functional database that didn't.

The user is granted full rights to all code in the functional database,
also distributed as a MDE, with a copy of the mdb for restoration
purposes, or that they can change if they like and are daring enough to
do so, though the contract states that we won't fix the bugs they
create, and will simply restore from our archived copy of the original
and program the additional functionalities they require using our own
methods. We provide documentation for the library mde so that they can
use the objects, properties, methods, etc., in the library on the
functional project they are purchasing. In effect, the functional
project has very little code that needs to be protected as intellectual
property, since much of the database's code is heavily reliant on the
inseperable and non-distributable library.

We've had nothing break after deployment, no required reworks, and
no-one have to backward integrate to cut us out of the loop. Most are
happy to stick with the delivered product or call on us again to
upgrade the system.

Dec 9 '06 #14

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