Okay, had a freelance JavaScript gig (with Three.js 3d lib). Usually I put the code on github so I have easier time switching between Desktop and laptop during work, unless I have to sign an NDA or something. Today at 5 AM I got mail from freelancing site support that client reported me for having code on public repo (but it's not like it is a proprietary software, it's based on threejs editor). I made repo private and went to sleep. Later I'm reading through messages, guy was cursing me, threatend to sue me etc. Ended up dropping the client. Did I do something really unprofessional? Unless I'm told not to, I want to show my code and I don't believe in not showing it by default. What do you guys think?

  • 7
    It depends on the contract.

    Would the code be yours or theirs?
  • 9
    Okay but how does he expect javascript code to not be public
  • 1
    @Codex404 the freelance site does not specify this and we didn't talk about it
  • 9
    @Vector then in my opinion its your fault for not stating terms.

    When a company wants you to make something they expect you to give them the source so it can be updated when needed.

    An NDA is way more than just sharing code. It also means you cant talk about the project.

    If you want to make code public then you need to have permission.
  • 12
    If youmre working under client always go for private repo otherwise this stuff tends to happen. Kinda your fault honestly
  • 5
    If the terms were not agreed upon, you should've keep your (theirs too) code private.
  • 4
    Always state that you keep the rights on your work upfront or in the contract. If your customer wants the rights too make him pay extra.
    This practice is common among photographers and graphic designers.
    Where I live it's even the law. What you make is yours and you sell the client a licence of your work unless stated otherwise.

    advice: find a lawyer to set up a customer contract in a favourable juristiction. Payment in milestones, damages for late payment etc. It'll make you money.
  • 3
    In my opinion it's never okay to share the code with anyone unless explicitly allowed to. Since your contractor is paying you for your work, the resulting product is under his possession, therefore it's up to him on whom to share the code with.
  • 3
    in the U.S.A

    "Money changing hands does not mean that the intellectual property rights have changed hands. Unless there is a contract in place that officially states IP rights will pass to the client on completion of the project, then the IP still belongs to the freelancer."

  • 2
    Yeah, kind of knew it was my fault. Lesson learned, thank you for all your answers!
  • 2
    @heyheni while I agree that the intellectual property is still good of it isn't defined, I think it woulds be good business practice to inform them of the and give them the possibility to purchase it.
  • 1
  • 1
    if you want, show your code.

    except this is not your code. it's client's.
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