I was asked by companyA(UK) to rewrite their legacy application, which I have been doing for a year. CompanyA have made a deal to sell the application to CompanyB(USA). The deal will complete at some date in the near future. In the meantime, CompanyB have been bankrolling development (paying me).
- Neither companyA or CompanyB have given me me a contract or any letter of agreement.
- I am a freelance developer. I work from home on my own equipment, to my own schedule.
- I handle my own tax and I have one other client.
- CompanyA gives me broad direction (e.g. please write a bookings feature) I design the graphical user interface and architecture, and then implement the feature. As of now I have completely replaced the front-end, most of the back-end, and have added many features.
- I invoice CompanyB monthly as a software consultant and they have paid on time.
I'd like to know: 1. Do I own the copyright to the software I have written. And if so does CompanyA have any right to sell the product to CompanyB without me signing it over? 2. Should I register or take other action to protect what I consider to be my original work? 3. What rights do CompanyB have, given that they have been paying me?