I want to ask a question from an employer point of view. I know that you are not really lawyers and stuff but I think you might help.
I'm into negotiations with a freelancer (from India) to create a specific standalone application to do some file convertions. This is a program that I want to brand and resell.
I got a good offer from them because they have already created such software in the past. But I'm having two issues:
a) The program was previously made by them for another client of theirs, under unclear terms (or I haven't explicitly asked yet). From what they told me, they created the program for him for his private use. It seems that they still have copyright/ownership of the source code.
b) They still want to keep the copyright/ownership of the code. I don't really mind, but in reality, I want to know how this can or can't affect me in the future. For example, what if the sales go well and suddenly they decide they want a piece of profit because the code is theirs? Something like that.
Now another question: Is there a difference between the source code of a program and the compiled version of it? For example, I get the final product (as in an executable/installer) that I own and have the rights to, and they keep the rights for the underlying technology. Is this possible?
And lastly, what do you think is the best to approach this? I think that I can allow them to keep the copyright of the code but sign a resell rights agreement to me for the final product. Is this valid at all? Can it be done?