Saturday, August 2, 2008

Software Development: Who Owns The Copyright

An age old question but something that keeps on arising- who owns the copyright and other Intellectual Property rights in Software?

A case in point: Meridian International Services Limited v Ian Richardson and Others which dates back to 18 October 2007

It is an established principle that Where a person commissions an independent contractor to create a copyright work, ownership of the copyright will vest in the contractor unless there something set out to the contrary. Here what we are looking for is either an express or implied agreement that deviates from this position. A Courts will only seek to imply a term in a contract where it is necessary to give commercial efficacy to the contract or to give effect to the 'obvious and common intentions' of the parties to the contract.

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