Bit of a weird query here, ive never come across this (though it seems obvious it was going to happen sooner or later, now I think about it), but am not sure how to deal with this or put a price on the issue. Please allow me to explain...
I received a phone call today from a prospect who is on the verge of 'signing' my contract for a new website development. It's a fairly basic/static site, no databases involved or anything.
Anyway, I have in my terms of business that the site's copyright will remain with me (the thought behind this term was to prevent a client taking a site and then later editing, modifying it etc on the side, at home, perhaps even defacing it etc which could reflect really badly on me as a designer if not competently carried out - my thought was also to preserve my name and link on the footer of the sites I build (though I would happily negotiate to remove this if the client wished, perhaps for a further small fee.).
The prospect hypothetically (his word not mine) asked, "If in 5 years time we wanted to host this (the website) ourselves and change or add to the website, if we had an in-house IT team.. how would this be effected by the copyright term in your T&C's?". Being a referral from another client I admitted I hadn't come across or ever had to deal with a situation like that. At this point he suggested a nominal fee could be paid at that point in time (to be defined in our contact *now* prior to work commencement) as a precautionary measure.
My question is; How do you put a price on the copyright of a website that doesn't even exist yet? The client doesn't even have an old/current site. The one we are discussing will be his company's first. And whilst I don't envisage any problems and I do have faith and trust in him (likewise, I believe he does me).. he is clearly thinking about the future and perhaps if he had an in-house IT team at some point.... "What if?" ..and doesn't want to "loose the investment" he may make with me now to develop his site.
My concern as a designer is the client defaces the site or makes unprofessional changes - while I wish to use the site in my portfolio - those changes may reflect badly on me.
The clients concern is if he wants to move in-house at some point, will he *have* a website to move?
Hence the nominal fee suggestion (I did also mention this would include or 'pay for' any source/editable files too, which he would not receive as part of the main development, layered graphics files, commented code, etc).
So what would be your advice on this scenario, and how much would you want for the nominal fee / copyright rights?
PS: If Im way off the mark with what I describe being in my terms (in terms of what is common or morally-acceptable), please let me know and tell me how you get around such problems/worries of clients potentially messing with your work when your name is on it, or even removing your name from it (there will be no CMS with this project, though it could be easily added later through the likes of Perch, etc).
PPS: If the value of the project has any impact on your thoughts let me know and I can reveal.
PPS: Am I right in saying this is one area not really covered in the business kit? I don't recall reading anything about copyright really in it.
Perhaps something for future, or even a sitepoint book on this in its own would be good?