Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Computer Software - Who Owns the Code?

Computer Software - Who Owns the Code?

The recent media debate about who owns code has again highlighted the problems that can arise if developers and clients fail to adequately address this issue. The recent Perry Group case illustrates some of the pitfalls – with High Court judge Justice Williams finding that the client had commissioned and therefore owned all the code, including source and object code and in effect the developer’s library code.

Clive Elliott and Michael Wigley addressed members of the New Zealand Computer Society in both Auckland and Wellington last week.

Clive Elliott, who was lead counsel for the developer Pacific Software, said that as an appeal had been filed he couldn’t comment on the merits of the decision. He did however agree that the decision has ramifications for the software industry as a whole and this is why it has generated quite a bit of debate so far. He stressed that recent High Court decisions showed how important it was to discuss issues of ownership of code and not leave it for later.

Michael Wigley commented that these were real risks in leaving important issues up in the air and that good legal advice was necessary. He did however say that not all software projects warranted detailed legal input and common-sense should dictate what is documented.

Ian Mitchell who was an expert witness on the case says software houses should have a standard Terms and Conditions document clearly stating that the customer would have copyright over the compilation of the software as a whole but giving only a “right to use” over the individual non-specific components and more . . .

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>


Half A Billion Accounts: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>

Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>


Half Full: Fonterra Raises Forecast Payout As Global Supply Shrinks

Fonterra Cooperative Group, the dairy processor which will announce annual earnings tomorrow, hiked its forecast payout to farmers by 50 cents per kilogram of milk solids as global supply continues to decline, helping prop up dairy prices. More>>



Meat Trade: Silver Fern Farms Gets Green Light For Shanghai Maling Deal

The government has given the green light for China's Shanghai Maling Aquarius to acquire half of Silver Fern Farms, New Zealand's biggest meat company, with ministers satisfied it will deliver "substantial and identifiable benefit". More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news