Developer refuses to provide source code!

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by summer19791979, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. summer19791979 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    #1
    Hi guys,

    Not sure if any of you guys use Elance to find freelance companies to do your apps but would just like to share a recent bad experience I had with "Jiffy Software".

    This company prides itself as a western based company (which in fact just hires indian developers for their work). Well, that is not the issue, but to my surprise, unlike the other developers on Elance, it refuses to provide me with the source code after app is finished. It's argument is that this was never specifically requested but from past experience, app ownership is transferred to client once finished, including source code. Anyhow, I am now waiting for Elance to intervene.

    Still, its best to specifically state this next time, if you use freelance developers to prevent similar events, in case you also bump into companies like Jiffy Software. ...:mad:
     
  2. jiminaus macrumors 65816

    jiminaus

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney
    #2
    Assumptions are bad. Anything not in a contract, is unspecified/unagreed. If you want something to be, ensure it's in the contract.

    It's a hard lesson you've learnt, I do feel for you.
     
  3. firewood macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #3
    If anything is not documented in the contract, including providing source code, don't expect it.
     
  4. dantastic macrumors 6502a

    dantastic

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    #4
    As a norm freelancers do not provide source. If you require source it is up to you to detail this as this will in most cases cost you extra.
     
  5. Luke Redpath macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Colchester, UK
    #5
    I don't agree that this is or should be the norm, but everybody is correct when they say "read your contract".

    Generally speaking, if somebody pays me to develop an app for them, that includes all rights to the source code, with the obvious exceptions of open-source code that is licensed already.
     
  6. dantastic macrumors 6502a

    dantastic

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    #6
    If you are hired under a "work for hire" agreement then the source is owned by the client. Programmers do not fall in to the category of people that automatically "work for hire" so this must be specified in the contract. Unless source is explicitly mentioned in the contract the the client has no right to the source what so ever.

    This is a bit like walking in to a restaurant and ordering dinner and expecting the chef to give you the recipe for their secret sauce. The company hired will obviously have lots of their own classes to speed up development, to make development cheaper. This is their competitive advantage.

    They are not just going to hand over their competitive advantage for free!

    In most cases you have an option, pony up a premium, usually 2-3x the price plus an NDA. Or, hire someone "work for hire" But expect development time to be longer as they won't use any of their cool classes.
     
  7. Luke Redpath macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Colchester, UK
    #7
    Firstly, I'm not in the US so the work for hire arrangement doesn't really apply to me.

    I never disputed that it is ultimately what is in your contract that matters. In fact, that is what I said.

    All I was saying is that by default, my own contract assigns the copyright of all original work produced for the client, including the work as a whole, to them on final payment.

    My contract is also clear on the matter of pre-existing works (open-source or otherwise), in that the copyright is not assigned to the client but is instead licensed to them.

    Of course, practically all of the common code that I use between projects is open sourced under the MIT license anyway so I retain copyright but the client has a very permissive license to do what they want with it.
     

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