[development] Convince Client to Release Code

Amy Stephen amystephen at gmail.com
Mon Jul 13 15:10:35 UTC 2009

On Mon, Jul 13, 2009 at 8:42 AM, David Metzler <metzlerd at metzlerd.com>wrote:

> Given all that, continue to point all this out, every time you get an
> opportunity.  Sometimes it takes a while to sell, and the proprietary module
> could be released into the community at any time.  No rush.

To me, "proprietary" is the key. It's important for the contract to make
clear that code will be licensed legally. Otherwise, the developer could be
put into a difficult position of distributing proprietary code. It's the one
distributing GPL code who is accountable.

It's best to express contracts in terms of what functions will be provided
and/or hours required to get there, not specifically what new code might be
required. Then, as you are augmenting an existing code base and using the
appropriate license for new work, the engagement stays focused on the
collective result, not the component pieces.

In the end, it's never a good idea to redistribute an entire replica of any
collective result. Sharing new functions back to the community places
important functions into an overall support infrastructure and can be done
discretely, without detracting from anyone's solution or market advantage.
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