[thelist] When does "bought code" become your own ?

Paola Kathuria paola at limitless.co.uk
Fri May 18 12:21:53 CDT 2001

I am not a lawyer - however, I have had frequent dealings with
intellectual property and copyright lawyers with copyright issues.

Nicole Parrot wrote:
> The original code license prohibits sales of the code, even sales of
> modifications. So the obvious solution is to write from scratch.

Given the licence, I would think this is also your only legal solution.

> Because we have one client who currently uses our modified version,
> we don't want to bring changes to the look (which is just slightly
> different from the original).

If your client paid money for your modified version, then you
may have already broken the terms of the licence.

If software copyright is similar to copyright other kinds of things,
my understanding is that if you modify something that you don't
actually own the rights to, you never end up owning it no matter how
big or small the modification.

To cover yourselves legally, because you've already seen the source,
you'd have to give another programmer (who hasn't seen the source of
the original system) a functional specfication and get them to create
a new one.

Otherwise, I suggest that you contact the original developer and see
if they'll add your ideas to the product.


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