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  • #1000025
    brownbag
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    • Total posts: 37

    My wife has a shop and I had developers build a software solution for her. She paid for it, so she owns the rights to the software.
    She wants to sell the software to me, so that I own the rights to it and can then onsell it as my software solution. Is this just a simple matter of us working out a small price and then writing up a sales agreement, then me paying her that amount? Are there any sales agreements like this that I can download?

    TIA.

    #1222365
    JacquiPryor
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,344

    Hey brownbag… Software tends to be protected under copyright laws (typically speaking) so the fact your wife paid does not automatically mean she owns the rights. Check the ts & cs to ensure the developer has assigned copyright ownership to your wife. Assuming so, your wife is entitled then to deal with that copyright as she sees fit – including selling it to you or licensing it to you (with agreement you’re allowed to sell it and sub-license to end users).

    Ideally you want a copyright assignment document, executed by your wife and could be in exchange for $1 for any goodwill associated (or obviously higher) in order for you to become owner, but very important to ensure she is indeed the current copyright owner – and, also be familiar with any other terms and conditions she agreed to (for example, if she assigns her right does she need to notify the developer? Does she need to attribute the developer in any way even if no longer the owner etc) as these obligations will likely pass to you.

    Then, you would want a solid end user license agreement in place for purchases of the software solution.

    Or, as noted your wife can license to you for a fee (royalty) and you can sub-license if the agreements are done right.

    #1222366
    JacquiPryor
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,344

    A quick add to the above… My information is based purely on the technical sides of copyright ownership/sales etc. I am not sure (for example) if your wife sold it to you for only $1 or something much higher if/what this does from an accounting/tax etc perspective so you may need to check out also.

    #1222367
    brownbag
    Member
    • Total posts: 37
    JacquiPryor, post: 268644, member: 20176 wrote:
    Hey brownbag… Software tends to be protected under copyright laws (typically speaking) so the fact your wife paid does not automatically mean she owns the rights. Check the ts & cs to ensure the developer has assigned copyright ownership to your wife. Assuming so, your wife is entitled then to deal with that copyright as she sees fit – including selling it to you or licensing it to you (with agreement you’re allowed to sell it and sub-license to end users).

    Ideally you want a copyright assignment document, executed by your wife and could be in exchange for $1 for any goodwill associated (or obviously higher) in order for you to become owner, but very important to ensure she is indeed the current copyright owner – and, also be familiar with any other terms and conditions she agreed to (for example, if she assigns her right does she need to notify the developer? Does she need to attribute the developer in any way even if no longer the owner etc) as these obligations will likely pass to you.

    Then, you would want a solid end user license agreement in place for purchases of the software solution.

    Or, as noted your wife can license to you for a fee (royalty) and you can sub-license if the agreements are done right.
    Thanks for the reply.
    In this case I, on my wife’s behalf, designed and specified a system in detail, had two separate developers work on it and I have also written quite a lot of the code and developed the platform for the solution. There were no terms and conditions as such – we didn’t buy the software but I just hired people to do the coding component of the solution build. So I’m quite comfortable in my understanding that she owns the software.
    And yes, I have an end user license agreement.
    I’ll look into getting that copyright assignment document. Cheers.

    #1222368
    JacquiPryor
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,344
    brownbag, post: 268650, member: 112769 wrote:
    Thanks for the reply.
    In this case I, on my wife’s behalf, designed and specified a system in detail, had two separate developers work on it and I have also written quite a lot of the code and developed the platform for the solution. There were no terms and conditions as such – we didn’t buy the software but I just hired people to do the coding component of the solution build. So I’m quite comfortable in my understanding that she owns the software.
    And yes, I have an end user license agreement.
    I’ll look into getting that copyright assignment document. Cheers.

    Got it. In that case, it’s possible there is some joint copyright ownership between you and the developers if you are the people that wrote the code. It would only then be your wife’s copyright if you and they have each assigned any ownership of the copyright to your wife. So, the parts you wrote are already your copyright (even though you did it for your wife). Ownership of copyright (for most things) is, by default, with whoever the creator/author of the work is – even if contracted for the job. There are some exceptions but from your information it would sound like you and the developers are jointly owners of copyright in the software. Food for thought. All the best :)

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