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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Unanswered: Wrote db in 2008. MDE. Now clients wants to modify

    Wrote a commercial db for a client in 2008. Explained that they have runtime rights verbally to a fashion but did not specifically write into my proposal who owns what, rights, copyright etc...

    Its an MDE.

    Original project was good. Follow up mods, requests, off spec requests and payment delays have not been great.

    Client wants to now 'modify' their database.

    Where do I stand?

    a) Can I say NO
    b) Can I charge as I have not said they have the rights.

    Job was 11K approx and is an MDE.

    Would like to know other peoples thoughts on the matter.

    Client can change elements in the db like new queries etc... or criteria changes as I wrote in document "a system to operate in xyz and that the client can modify".

    Feel a little agrieved to simply hand this over (even though I have done in the past), as I have done so much off spec work and unexplained delays no payment and false promises.

    All paid up to date NOW... but.. just feel I should think about this and get some opinions on my legal position.

    Many thanks


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    In front of the computer
    Provided Answers: 54
    I've been out of touch with the changes in EU and UK law for too long to be able to give you specific advice on the topic. I know that the rules are quite different for companies that operate strictly in the UK versus those that are headquartered in the UK but operate outside, and also for those headquartered outside of the UK.

    If you decide to just give them the source code, then things are simple.

    If you decide to fight them at all, I'd consult someone with experience in IP (Intellectual Property) law in whatever jurisdiction is applicable. This is why I always specify jurisdiction in my statement of work and/or contracts.

    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Provided Answers: 15
    Where you paid to develop a program according to the specifications of a client or did you sell a program to a client? That makes a big difference. If you have any doubt, follow Pat's advice and see a lawyer specialized in intellectual property. Frankly speaking, I wonder if it's worth the case. Except if your application can be sold to several clients, what interest do you have to keep the source code for yourself? Your work was paid anyway.
    Have a nice day!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014



    Thanks for your replies. Expected questions .

    a) It was a bespoke database system developed for them to their specification.
    b) They got a reduced price database due to promised follow up work and this was a part of a larger quote, but the rest did not go through or the follow up work.

    So it was committed to separately. All work delivered to 100% satisfaction and project sign off received etc...

    System in use, but then the other work was shelved due to a change in management. Plus delayed payment for minor mods over past 6 years etc...

    This is why I ask the question "MUST I?" because it is not recorded anywhere that they will get developer rights to the system or will have any more than a runtime license. We underpriced the commercial value of the product for a long lasting fruitful relationship.

    So without detailing what are peoples opinions of where I stand or rather the company even.

    Many thanks for your replies.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    out on a limb
    Provided Answers: 59
    if it isn't in the contract then I'd tough it out. tell 'em they've had what they requested.

    if they complain they haven't had the source code, I'd explain they've had 5 or 6 years to query that and haven't so as far as you are concerned you've delivered on your side.
    you are quite happy to implement their changes (for whatever fee you neogtiate)

    however if they as a company have played silly buggers in the meantime Im not sure Id want to trust them further with additional work. if they are griping about the price they paid then they are going to gripe about the next project. Depending on my workload or If I felt there was something to be gained as say a reference site I think I'd probably pass
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    My thoughts exactly. Thanks for reply.

    I will decide if I do or not.

    Just nice to hear others thoughts on matter.

    Please anyone else throw your two pennies worth in too


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Any more thoughts please?

    Many thanks in advance.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Richmond, Virginia USA
    Provided Answers: 19
    As Pat said, you really need to consult someone up on the prevailing intellectual property laws, in your area! But the fact that they accepted an MDE file, 6 years ago, and paid for it, indicates that they were acknowledging the fact that what you gave them was what they contracted for.

    Linq ;0)>
    Hope this helps!

    The problem with making anything that fools are so darn ingenious!

    All posts/responses based on Access 2003/2007

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