Proprietary rights for custom programming? Fair?

calvincalvin Posts: 14subscriber
If i`m having some custom work done on my site, is it fair that I ask the work
be proprietary?

I`m having a programmer add a custom function to my auction script. This
script is very popular so mods are constantly being developed for it. I don`t
want to pay top dollar for this custom mod, then turn around to see it
released to the public.

The auction script I`m using is called PHP Probid.

Comments

  • olegoleg Posts: 13subscriber Bronze Level Member
    So you are paying a developer to build a mod for PHP Probid software, and want to prevent the developer from re-selling the same mod to ohers?
    That doesn`t seem fair to me.  What is your reasoning behind this?
  • calvincalvin Posts: 14subscriber
    When you pay someone for this, you are paying them
    for their time - not so much the product.


    I might disagree here. To me, the concept is the same as hiring a graphic
    designer to design you a web template. If that designer uses that same web
    template on 20 different websites, you`d be upset.

    You are paying for the product (script) they are providing you.
  • olegoleg Posts: 13subscriber Bronze Level Member
    If you were to buy off-the-shelf software, you would be paying for the product.
    If you are hiring a developer to create custom software, you`re paying for their time.
  • calvincalvin Posts: 14subscriber
    If you were to buy off-the-shelf software, you would be
    paying for the product.
    If you are hiring a developer to create custom software, you`re paying for
    their time.

    So would it be OK for a designer to create a custom web template for you,
    then turn around an use it for all his other clients?
  • olegoleg Posts: 13subscriber Bronze Level Member
    So would it be OK for a designer to create a custom web template for you, then turn around an use it for all his other clients?
    Legally - you could possibly protect the code in some fashion, but I don`t know much about software patent laws.
     
    Ethically - since you`re asking what is fair - I don`t think you should stop the developer from selling it to other clients.
  • starrhornestarrhorne Posts: 0subscriber
    It`s not really about what`s fair, it`s about what you and your developer have agreed on...hopefully in a contract.Legally, hiring a contractor to write a piece of software does not give you any kind of exclusive rights. If you want to own the rights, that`s fine. Just expect to pay more. And be clear about what you want. Exclusive right to use? to resell? Also, you have to be realistic about which rights you can own. Any developer who does contract work will have his standard tool set of libraries and frameworks that he uses over and over. You can`t buy exclusive rights to these, because the developer doesn`t own them.
    starrhorne2007-9-26 12:25:29
  • john146john146 Posts: 0subscriber
    As a software contractor, I have to agree with Easterner here. Generally,
    when you write software for someone on a contract basis, they get the
    rights to the software. That is stated in the contract. That doesn`t stop them
    from using snippets (fair use) or recreating it from scratch, unless it is
    patented.

    Oftentimes there is a no compete clause in the contracts as well that will
    limit the contractor`s ability to recreate the same feature for a competitor
    for a period of time, never indefinitely.
  • CreadivCreadiv Posts: 1subscriber
    This definitely depends on the contract you have with the programmer.  If this is what you want write the contract up for that.  However the programmer knows that this will be a very valuable script will probably be likely to charge you alot more.  For example if I create an add on for a blogging software and start selling it to different bloggers I can sell it for cheap and make money off of continuing sales so there is opportunity for me to make alot.  However if I am making a custom script for one and only one person the potential for income is limited and I will increase my asking price.
  • ashawashaw Posts: 2subscriber
    In my previous life a a programmer and consult.  I was programs for the clients who never saw a program before.  Thata being said the program was theirs.  It was in the contract that the rights of the program were to my client not to me.  Make sure you have a contract that spells out what role the constant has and does not have.  
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