[thelist] Copyright ownership under LGPL

David Bindel dbindel at austin.rr.com
Mon Jun 14 00:17:51 CDT 2004

Howdy thelist,

I have a new client who has requested a few major items (blog, geneology
database/interface, photo gallery, etc.) which are all to be written by
me (and only me) in order to maintain consistent coding styles.

I have already written an open source photo gallery system called PHPoto
<http://sourceforge.net/projects/phpoto/> released under the GNU Lesser
General Public License (LGPL), but his website would require
modifications to the software per his specification.

My client has also requested that he own the copyrights to everything I
make for him; realizing that it would be impractical and unethical for
me to sell my copyright to my open source software, I told him that that
would be impossible as the LGPL does not allow me to sell the copyright
and still distribute the software as Free and Open Source Software
(since it is no longer mine).  He did not accept those terms easily.

The software I am making for him would be a heavily-modified offspring
of my open source software, yet nevertheless, largely based on the
original open source software.

Work on this project hasn't yet started, but I am about to begin writing
a contract, though I'm not really sure what my options are here.  Are
there any comments or other pieces of advice someone can give me?

David Bindel


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