Hand over source code to customer
I have developed a couple of form based windows application in vb.net for a client and they all work well and he paid me through a freelance site. I have handed over the executable and the setup to the client and all was well. Now the client wants the source code for the application. Is there a general practice on sharing the source code with the client?
Please note - the client never mentioned he needs the source code and he is now asking for it after a week after the app was completed and he made the payment.
I don't mind sharing the source code, but I am not sure if I should. This probably means the client would not hire me again and the bigger question is the source code really his property?
This question may have been asked a few times, but I cannot still draw a conclusion on what is right.
To answer some of the questions:
- The source code was not mentioned at all. There was no exclusive contract signed except for the usual agreement of the freelance site.
- I am not sure if software development comes under work for hire and is it valid for users outside of the US?
- The reason for not sharing the source code was this was a very small project and I got paid for a mere few hours. So if I have an option then definitely I would want to keep the source code to myself as that gives a possibility of the client coming back. The application works flawlessly and the code is solid. Also, the task that the client wanted to achieve was very challenging and I would not like other programmers (competitors) to know how I achieved it.
So unless I get the confirmation that the source code is purely the property of the client, I would not be willing to share it.