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   Who owns the work?
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   Author  Topic: Who owns the work?  (Read 509 times)
bsanders
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Posts: 2
Who owns the work?
« on: Jan 2nd, 2006, 3:40pm »
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I recenlty wrote some software for a small group.  Never was ownership talked about, nor was I ever compensated for my work.  After the first release, I became unhappy with the situation and wanted to terminate their use of the software.  They are bullying me and saying they own it since I wrote it for them...but I never said that.  It did run on servers they provided.
 
Do I still retain ownership of the work?  It was all done by me.  Both sides acknowledge this.  But they think they own it, even though I was never paid, or signed anything saying they owned it.  We never even talked about ownership of the software.  They even acknolwedged via conversation/email that I did own parts because of licensing third party software so they did not have to pay for it.
 
thanks.
Barb Sanders.
« Last Edit: Jan 2nd, 2006, 3:42pm by bsanders » IP Logged
Isaac
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Posts: 3472
Re: Who owns the work?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 2nd, 2006, 6:01pm »
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The ownership of the copyright is going to revolve around whether or not the software can be considered a work for hire.   In the absence of a written agreement I'd suggest that the question is going to revolve around whether or not you were an employee of the group or not.   Work done by an employee within the scope of employment is a work for hire owned by the employer.
 
But even if you own the copyright, that does not end the question.  The group may have a license to use the software.    While it's true that no money changed hands, it seems the intent was that the group use the software, possibly without compensation.  
 
If you are simply interested in exploiting the software on your own and are not interested in terminating the group's right to use the software, and you were not an employee of the group you may have a fairly strong hand.  
 
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Isaac
bsanders
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Re: Who owns the work?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 2nd, 2006, 7:27pm »
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---------removed-----
« Last Edit: Jan 2nd, 2006, 8:40pm by bsanders » IP Logged
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