[development] Convince Client to Release Code

Naheem Zaffar naheemzaffar at gmail.com
Mon Jul 13 15:29:57 UTC 2009

Just a note that the GPL does not (AFAIK) automatically mean free
distribution of code to anyone - just that if you give the code to someone
else, they then have the right to modification, distribution etc to others
under the terms of the GPL.

Also if you are doing contract work, it is probably best to specify ahead of
time what you want to happen with the code once you have met the client's
business requirements and it may be good to point out how their business is
benefiting from thsi free code sharing - how they are being saved a lot of
money in being able to use code written by others.

You will have to ask a lawyer, but my understanding is that in a contract
work situation you cannot prevent the client from distributing the work
(there are some modules out there that do try to restrict and thus violate
the GPL - the ones I have encountered are ports from Joomla! and not hosted
at drupal.org) as they see fit as long as it is under the terms of the GPL.
As for your rights, they are as specified in your contract - if you
transferred ownership, then it is probably up to the client. If you did not
specify anything here, it is still best to continue a good working
relationship with those you work with as it might affect your overall
reputation for "changing the terms" even if you didn't.

In the future, it may be best to have some of the legalese, processes
available and clarified with the client before any work is done.

Just to note that IANAL.
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