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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
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    Web site 'ownership' & source code

    Hi,

    I'm not a developer but I have paid to have my site developed by a relatively small web design company. The site is fully up and running and I'm happy with it.

    I'm now thinking about contingency and safeguarding my investment.

    What is the accepted practice for me asking the developer for a copy of the source code to the site? Is this of any use to me? Am I likely to offend the developers? Should I be requesting s technical document with full details of servers etc. so I could keep the site going if the current developers were to cease (not that I think they will!)

    Also, I have a question on the proof of ownership of the site. Aside from the domain name being registered to me what's to say who 'owns' the content of the website as it stands. Is there a standard legal template I can get my developer to sign to prove ownership is mine? I have mentioned this to my lawyer and they offered to draft something for several hundred pounds but surely it's been done before!

    Thanks in advance.

    Gavin

    www.thesitetoremember.com

  2. #2
    Texan at Heart Corey Bryant's Avatar
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    You should have a copy of the source code. This way, if the developer / designer is unavailable to you, you are then able to get someone else to make the changes.

    Also check out Chilling Effects Clearinghouse for some information

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Normally, there should be a contract signed between you and the developer with the following clause:

    <Developer Company> irrevocably assigns <Your Company> all right, title and interest worldwide in and to the Work Product, including all HTML, SQL, PHP and other codes created and developed by <Developer Company> for <Your Company>’s needs, and all applicable trade marks, trade secrets, patents, copyrights, moral rights, contract and licensing rights (the "Proprietary Rights"). Except as set forth below, <Developer Company> retains no rights to use the Work Product without the Client’s prior written consent.

    <Developer Company> and its subcontractors may maintain their own copy of the Work Product and development materials for portfolio and library purposes and may use parts of the Work Product and/or development materials, but only upon obtaining the prior written consent of The Client. <Developer Company> agrees not to challenge the validity of The Client’s ownership in the Work Product. <Developer Company> hereby grants to The Client a non-exclusive, royalty-free, irrevocable and world-wide right, with rights to sublicense through multiple tiers of sublicenses, to reproduce, make derivative works of, publicly perform, and publicly display in an form or medium, whether now known or later developed, distribute, make, use and sell any background technology, trade codes, trade secrets and any prior work product to the extent incorporated into or delivered with the Company Work Product.


    If there is no contract then you need the developer to sign on a "Copyright Assignment" agreement.
    Mukul Gupta
    Indus Net Technologies
    _______________________________________
    Design | Development | Internet Marketing

  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict
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    Nice work. I also include, as a developer, a phrase that covers any open-source or commercial products included in the site that those licenses are still in effect and I give them copies of or links to the related licenses. That way they would have a hard time coming back later complaining that they wanted to transfer it but the other licenses blocked that. GL
    I study speed waiting. I can wait an entire hour in 10 minutes.


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