Hi All - I am interested to hear what you class as intellectual property (IP) and what you class as customer property, and as it relates to IP how do you protect it?
I have asked some community members directly this exact question and invite them to respond here again if they wish, All responses I received were informative and unique, each giving their reason for their view point; I have realised and accepted there is no clear answer as every situation, solution and customer is different.
I think that is the true power of File Maker beyond its technical ability is that it can meet so many needs across many different situations.
The title is an attention grabber, I know what IP is; given native file maker is an enclosed system and that there are generally multiple ways to achieve a result but ultimately a limited number is the claim of IP correct and where is the balance of fair for developers and the customer?
When you develop a system explicitly for a customer and deliver that solution to the customer, do they get [Full Access] to the file or do you keep that to protect the IP? What are the rules, best practices? Is a simple license agreement on paper enough to protect what you have built - or are their no implied or legal rights? even though paid for being sold on to another person by that customer?
I appreciate both sides of the argument and see that there are many reasons to not allow access as to prevent multiple copies of the same file being used for free and reasons to allow to ensure the customer can still have their solutions modified if you get hit by a bus.
How do you make that decision, is there a financial increase in development costs if you provide [Full Access] justified by the losing of your IP and future works? Do you have a conversation the effect “I can build it where you have [Full Access] which is more expensive or I can build it cheaper where you do not”?
I am certain if you are an in-house developer there would be a waiving of rights where the company owns the work as their IP in most cases.
I decided to post this discussion as I met some file maker developers from California who see the work they put into their solutions as IP and do not allow others to see the work, not even the customer who paid for their time.
I see both sides of the argument and I am curious what others think and do; I am trying to make some business decisions on what is fair and acceptable.