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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Who should own the software copyright?  Me or my business?

Hi, all.

I'm the founder of a small micro-ISV, and I'm trying to decide who should own the copyright for my software application, myself or my business.

What do you feel are the pros and cons of either approach?

Jeffrey Grady Send private email
Monday, October 27, 2014
The business needs to own the IP and you own the shares (equity) in the business.

Most (realistically, all) investors and potential partners, even future employees, won't accept any other solution. It also allows the company to continue, in the unfortunate event that you meet your demise.

There is an exception to this, where you can license some IP to the business, but this is rare and complex.
Scorpio Send private email
Monday, October 27, 2014

The end.
Scott Send private email
Monday, October 27, 2014
Yeah, I don't see any reason why some fictitious entity should own your creation. If you ever get to the point where you need to sell the IP, sell it to your company or the company's acquirer. Easy peasy.
Bring back anon Send private email
Monday, October 27, 2014
I own the copyright on the code and license it to my business. Allows for tax optimization (personal income taxes vs corporate taxes) and if the company gets in trouble (lawsuit) I don't lose the most important thing.
Jeremy Morassi Send private email
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
My company employs 7 programmers who each write code and I can tell you they don't own the IP, the company does.  The company pays the employees and they write code which the company owns.  Unless you have some agreement that says otherwise that is how it works AFAIK.  My lawyer recently told me this (today actually).

It might be an easy answer if you are the only programmer, but once you start hiring, it becomes obvious that the business must own the IP.
Richard J Send private email
Wednesday, October 29, 2014

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