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murdock

[web] Intellectual Property ? Need Opinions

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I just worked three plus months on a website for a company. I started out making a weekly salary with no written contract. They stated it was on a contract basis. Now they dropped the salary and have went to a project to project basis. MY QUESTION IS: Is the website my intellectual property or the property of the company?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
ask a lawyer,

but i'd say theirs, as they didn't buy it off you, they paid you to make it for them. therefore it is theirs.

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I filled out an app but, they said it was just for information purposes...
They always called it contract/project basis. I drew a wkly check and got no real benefits other than employee discounts. So, I had a few employee perks but, never officially signed a contract.

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If their is no agreement on who owns the property/website you could assume the company owns it, they paid you to do it.

If you are talking about how you went about doing the programming portion of the website and you want to reproduce it for another client, then you are OK. If they wanted the technology to be their own they should have and would have had you sign a confidentialty,NDA, and other contracts.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Work product.

You don't need contract to assign ownership of the materials you created to the company paying you, you need a contract to assign that ownership to yourself. at all.

on the other hand, you could probably get away with arguing that SOME of the things you used to write that site were from your own personal library and not, in fact, work product.

ask a lawyer.

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Quote:
Original post by murdock
So, could I keep the code and they keep the graphics?


Well, the whole thing is a grey area. People simply assume if you attach a license to something then it is LAW and LEGAL. This makes me want to laugh sometimes. A lawyer will not give you an answer because their is really no definitive answer. The whole thing really depends on the verbal agreements you have with the company, because you have no written ones. Also if you wrote the software on one their computers, personally I wouldn't touch it.

Assuming you wan't to reproduce some sort of technology you wrote, I don't see the problem in this, unless the company asked you to create some sort of Search Engine Technology for them, and you did, I would say they own it, not you.

This does not make things legal or illegal as most people seem to think. This just means that if you decide to launch the same or similar product, you might have a lesser or greater chance of winning in court, if it goes that far.

Also take into account your obligations as a independent contractor, you definately don't want a bad name.

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