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I am working on a new asp.net core MVC web application as an out sourced senior software developer/architecture. now i did many requirements gathering sessions with the client, and i came our with a detailed requirement and design document, which have been singed by the client. then i break-down the document into tasks and i calculated the total effort for designing,developing,testing and hosting the web application, something as follow:

  • Database creation and Design. 50 hours + cost 4,000 USD.
  • Developing user registration and profile creation. 10 hours + cost 8,00 USD.
  • Developing transaction workflow. 200 hours + cost 16,000 USD.
  • tasks for development and hosting and UAT goes on...
  • Final. 500 hours + cost 40,000 USD.

so the above cover the full implementation time and cost for the project. but should this covers by defualt giving the client the application source code? or this is not necessary ? and if our client need/ask the source code then we can separately provide costing for it? Now inside the contract we did not mention anything about transferring the source code, currently we only include that there will be UAT sessions to deliver the system + 1 year warranty to cover bugs + 10% plus or minus variation/changes based on the singed requirement and design document. but we did not include any thing about delivering the source code to the client.. so should we do so? and is it normal to charge the client extra money for delivering the source code (let say 20% of the total price), beyond the implementation time in our case (500 hours/40,000USD)?

closed as off-topic by A. K., Nij, Dale M, feetwet May 28 at 18:18

  • This question does not appear to be about law, within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • As phrased, this seems like more of a Workplace SE question, as you're asking about what your policy should be. If you want it to be Law SE, it should be phrased differently, such as "Absent anything specific in the contract addressing this, what would the default be?" – Acccumulation May 21 at 20:54
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about industry costing practices, not the law. – A. K. May 23 at 15:30
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is it normal to charge the client extra money for delivering the source code (let say 20% of the total price), beyond the implementation time in our case (500 hours/40,000USD)?

It is lawful to charge for delivery of source code regardless of the implementation. For instance, when you buy a product (say, a vehicle), the delivery hardly ever contains material that streamlines its reproducibility or reverse engineering, even though much of the price paid by the customer arises from the implementation of that product.

What matters is what the parties agree in their contract. And if the contract does not specify a relevant issue such as the source code of an IT system, it is better for the parties to promptly address that issue. Many software vendors take requests from clients so as to implement changes to the vendor's system, but that by itself does not mean that the vendor is contractually obliged to release the source code of that customized request. Consequently, many such vendors do not release their source code.

  • ok thanks for the great reply. so when i say that the implementation time will be 500 hours & cost 40,000, this is not necessary include delivering the source code? is this what you mean? now in our case we wrote a draft contract that is been reviewed by the 2 parties, but we did not mention anything about delivering the source code. second question, so let say the customer ask for the source code, and i am going to modify the contract to include this, so is it acceptable to say that the client need to pay 25% of the total price (10,000 in our case) to get the source code? – test test May 21 at 13:06
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    @testtest "this is not necessary include delivering the source code? is this what you mean?" Yes. "is it acceptable to say that the client need to pay 25% of the total price (10,000 in our case) to get the source code?". Yes. That is entirely up to you, provided that your client agrees to that. I personally would charge more for delivery of source code, or at lest would weigh other business-related considerations. But again, that's my very personal point of view and I don't want to influence you on that. – Iñaki Viggers May 21 at 13:20
  • Ok thanks for the info. now i read some questions on other forums, which mentioned if you are paid for the 500 hours to write a code, then this code by defualt goes to the client.. but still we can add extra charge (as a percentage or as a fix prive) for submitting the source code beyond the implementation time.. i also see 20% is a bit small,, so do you have a percentage that is usually used for delivering the source code and copyright? – test test May 21 at 13:40
  • @testtest If it is by default, then that is another reason for overriding it in the contract. I couldn't suggest you a specific percentage because it can vary and depends on the vendor's market, prospects, strategy, bargaining power, etc (hence my allusion to business-related considerations). I doubt that there is a usual or commonplace percentage for surcharge. – Iñaki Viggers May 21 at 13:50
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    At least under US law, it is not at all true that source code must be provided 'by default" to the client. Copyright in the source remains with the author unless it was agreed to be a work-for-hire, and fit the statute. If the purpose of the contract can be served by delivering object code, and the contract does not specify, source code need not be delivered. Best practice is to agree explicitly on deliverables and fees. – David Siegel May 22 at 4:38

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