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    Non-Compete, Ownership and GPL


    I have a Content Management framework that i've licensed uner the GPL. It's pretty basic, but i've recently been employed to build a corporate site that i've used this software to build. Late in the game my client now wants me to sign a Non-compete that has an ownership clause stating that they own all "work for hire".

    I've structured any additional functionality i've created for them as non-integral to the CMS, so sure, they can own that, but it's quite useless w/o the framework.

    I was wondering if anyone has contractual language specifically for those fo us that install and configure GPL'd software.. or is it a mute point since existing license would preclude any client's claim?

    thanks for any feedback
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    Work for Hire


    My experience with "past clients" is that when they get interested in the "exclusive ownership" of your work/code they are preparing to pull the plug on you.

    With that in mind my Web Site Development Agreement is a formed as a "Work for Hire" with specified exclusions on third-party products, such as product licensed under the GPL, purchased through third-part vendors, AND product that I have created myself and use or intend to use in other client sites.

    Personal opinion, I would not sign a non-compete agreement, after the fact without a major financial contribution from the other party. Not so sure I would sign any agreement, after the fact, unless it was in my best interest, either financially or business goodwill.

    Beyond creating a basic understanding, between you and your client, contracts are only as good as the money you are willing to invest in their enforcement.

    Walking away is always an option.


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