Don’t Get Screwed by your client Part 2.

Rails

So here’s what happened.
Yesterday afternoon at about 4:00 the CFO approached me about this
matter. This is after 4 months of development, so its seemed a little
late and out of the blue.
They were concerned that my product is so well suited for this
industry, and that there is nothing off-the-shelf for less than $100k,
that they want full control of the product.
I talked to a few of people and they said here are your options:
1. Pull the plug and walk away. Finish it and try to sell it on your
own – this forfeits about $4000 of income in the next three weeks.(which I never actually got from them)
2. Agree to share in the future licensing and sign over the copyright
for a period of time.
3. License it and make them agree to open source (yeah right)
4. Hand over the copyright but demand full market value for the
product.
So this morning I walk in and the big boss has his golf club out ready
to “discuss.”
He says “Sign over everything by noon or walk.”
“Well I need some legal counsel on the matter I’ll get back to you by
Monday.”
“No way…noon or your outta here”
They do pay me a monthly “retainer” and have provided me office space
so I’m in a bit of a bind with a half finished product.
So I actually just signed everything over with a provision for an
agreement, after full completion of the product, that I get paid a
portion of any licensing or sale of the product (their attorney was
witness to this).
They stated that since it was a “funded” project (I’ll have made about
$15k over a 6 month span of development) that they “own” the copyright
– which isn’t so according to work-for-hire law. They have to have an
agreement signed and it was foolish not to sign one at the outset.
This is my first programming job and they allowed me to learn as I go
and I’m only 23 so there are plenty more opportunities out there.
And like Brian said I can always start a new project from scratch as
long as it is sufficiently different in design and function for any
other competitor and I have not signed a non-compete, thank god (I’m
sure they’ll have one lined up after product completion)

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