Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I built a lot of websites and applications during my life, I can put them under the following categories:

  • Did all the project as a freelancer -> For other companies
  • Did part of the project as a freelancer -> For other companies
  • Did all the project my self while was working for another company
  • Did the project with team members while was working for another company
  • Did all the project my self and for my self

Now I am creating a company with a new brand and have my own employees, My question is: Is it ethical, and normal to put on my new company website, screenshots and info about these projects I created my self before? which to put and which not put from the previous categories?

share|improve this question
Ask for permission. – Vitor Py Jun 27 '11 at 0:24
ask for permission from all? – Amr Elgarhy Jun 27 '11 at 0:25
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you did the work and were paid by someone else to do that work, seek permission first. Depending on the various contracts and legal documents that you signed, you might or might not be able to share that work publicly for any number of reasons.

If you performed the work yourself for yourself when you were employed by another company, check to make sure that they don't own your work. As much as I dislike it, some employers force you to give them everything that you produce, even if you do it on your own time and budget. If you signed a document giving them ownership of the product, clear it with them first.

In both of those conditions, when you are talking to the companies, it might also be a good idea to get references by talking to HR, your coworkers, and managers. Even if you can't share your code and projects, someone who is looking to hire you for your services might be interested to know about the work that you did. If they want to check you out before they hire you, people who supervised or worked along side you might be able to share some insight into your abilities.

If you performed the work for yourself, you should be OK go ahead and post it.

As with anything that skirts on legal issues, though, you should consult a lawyer just to be safe. You don't want to do anything that would put you or your company into a tough situation.

share|improve this answer

[I am Not a Lawyer]

You're going to have copyright issues with your former employers if you don't first get permission to use those assets. Do you really want to start a new business by incurring potential liability?

The moral (probably legal, too) high ground would be to only use work you've done for yourself and on your off-work time. If you want more examples, can you create new works that showcase your previous efforts in microcosm?

If you do wish to use samples of work for hire from your new company in advertising, add that provision to your future contracts.

You'll notice that many services simply have a listing of corporate logos for companies that they've done work for, but no samples or even screen captures at all...

share|improve this answer
I was thinking, however, that you could probably video capture your website work in action without actually having to host from live data. But I side with advice that hiring an Intellectual Property lawyer for 30 minutes to answer all your questions will save you from worrying every day =) That and simply asking for permission for that kind of recorded presentation, that's a great idea. – Patrick Hughes Jul 18 '11 at 2:03

Not sure, but from here on out, make sure that your customers know that you have the right to show your work (their product) to prospective clients. :)

share|improve this answer

ask First, and you can put your skills and things you did inside links by your name not your start up company name.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.