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Mice Net : June 2009
legal issues So what should you have done to avoid this very stressful and damaging situation? Some of the practical steps that you should consider when having a database developed are: 1. Always try to get a written transfer of the copyright in any software that you have specially developed by an external contractor. If the contractor refuses, shop around til you find one who understands this issue. If all else fails, at least get the developer to give you a perpetual licence of the database code and structure, with a contractual agreement that you can modify the software or get another software writer to do so; 2. Have your lawyer review the software development contract – it often consists of little more than a price schedule and a rough specification. It should contain much, much more, including the intellectual property clauses noted above. 3. Always try to get the developer to give you a copy of the underlying code. If you are to be the owner of the copyright in the program, this is essential; but even if you only get a licence as suggested above, this is something you should press for. Having the code allows you to at least keep the database operational when it experiences technical problems and when you are in dispute with the developer. 4. Think twice about getting the original developer to maintain the database. It gives the developer a great deal of practical power over you as my story illustrates. 5. Equally, think carefully before getting your developer to host your database. This gives the developer an added and powerful means of denying you access if the relationship breaks down for any reason. 6. In all negotiations, make it clear to the original developer that it is important for you to have the freedom to migrate to another provider and to have another provider upgrade the database program if you decide for any reason to go that way. For further details contact Matt Crouch on (02) 8281 7800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll help kick start your With $60,000 simply book your next conference or event with novotel with a minimum spend of $10,000 before 30 December 2009, and go into the draw to win $60,000 credit towards your next event at participating novotel hotels and resorts in australia. meetingatnovotel.com.au BrisBane • Barossa Valley • Cairns • CanBerra • Coffs HarBour • CreswiCk • Darwin Palm CoVe • PertH • sunsHine Coast • snowy mountains • syDney • melBourne • wollongong For full terms and conditions go to www.meetingatnovotel.com.au. Open to Australian residents over 18 years of age. Promotion starts 17/02/09 and closes midnight AEST on 30/12/09. Draw will take place at 2.00pm on 8 January 2010 at 5/15 Grosvenor Street, Neutral Bay NSW 2089. Prize winner’s name will be published in The Australian on 15/01/10. Promoter is AAPC Limited (ABN 87 009 175820), Level 30, Angel Place, 123 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000. Authorised under NSW Permit No. LTPS/08/12852, ACT Permit TP08/05325, SA Licence No. T08/4888, VIC Permit No. 08/5903. of the practical steps that you should consider when having a database developed are: MN0609