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Thread: Work offer with a hitch - advice needed

  1. #1
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    Default Work offer with a hitch - advice needed

    Just asking for a little advice...

    I've been offered long-term freelance work from a small webdesign company, on the proviso that I dont release version 2 of Fast Edit (the one with multi-level menus), as they would like to use it as their inhouse CMS (with a bit more tarting up).

    They've said that I would be OK continuing to do self-generated webdesign work and keep using Fast Edit v2.0 as a backend for that, but they have asked me not to put it on general release in exchange for "regular" work from them.

    I've explained that it is planned to be released on a GPL so they can use it anyway, regardless of if I release it publicly or not, but it sounds like they want dibs on it and are offering to throw work my way to keep me sweet.

    I'm not sure what I want to do at the moment or of all the details in this proposition so I'm guessing I'm asking for advice on things to ask and what to watch out for if its something that I go ahead with.

    Any help is much appreciated.
    Focus on Function Web Design
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    It sounds clear enough to me, and you just need to decide what you want more.

    However, that sounds like a completely backwards way of approaching this: if they want the software, they can buy it from you; if they want you to work for them, they can pay you. The trade sounds confusing and makes me a bit suspicious.

    What if you say no but that you still want to work with them? Will they refuse? If so, then how much did they really want to work with you in the first place? Maybe it's just simpler to have them pay you for it? Or perhaps "officially license" them?


    The main point that doesn't make sense here is that there's no real reason to hide Fast Edit. It wouldn't hurt their business if others used it too. The only way it would work like that is if they sold it or gave it to some clients, but that's a very different deal than what it sounds like on the surface.

    I'd suggest talking to them and if you are still uncertain express that to them. You have no obligation to agree to their offer immediately, unless it's something you can't lose and you don't want to risk that.
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| espa˝ol | Deutsch | italiano | portuguŕs | catalÓ | un peu de franšais | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

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    i must say, i agree with him...i may not know much about this and i have yet to learn them but from what you just stated, it's like using using your software and get a hold of it so that they'll be the only ones to use that... they can always buy it if they really want it...

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    I'd agree as well. If they want exclusive use of FastEdit, they can buy an exclusive license from you.

    I wouldn't even figure the "promise" of future jobs into my decision. just sounds like something for nothing, to me.

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    At the very least, get a contract in writing.
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| espa˝ol | Deutsch | italiano | portuguŕs | catalÓ | un peu de franšais | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

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    I've got a few more emails from them now and I too am starting to doubt their work promise. They cant officially commit to giving me a pre-agreed amount of work over X time as they say it depends on the work they themselves have in the pipeline. Fair enough but that doesnt leave me with much confidence and I dont like the prospect of being held to randsom for what could just be a minimal token project once every six months.

    From what I gather, they just want to slap their banner on it and say its a bespoke CMS designed inhouse to look good to prospective clients and if I dont work for them, then they cant say its an inhouse CMS.

    ha, ha - I might as well use the same tactic for myself and generate more work first hand!

    Unless they commit to money upfront, I dont think its worth it.
    Focus on Function Web Design
    Fast Edit (A flat file, PHP web page editor & CMS. Small, FREE, no database!) | Fast Edit BE (Snippet Manager) (Web content editor for multiple editable regions!) | Fast Apps

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    to me, it sounds sort or wrong...i mean if it's the software they want then they can always buy it right?..if they want you to work for them then they should give you a commitment since you do the job and they pay you...something like that...or maybe there's something fishy..? i don't know...

    just a thought

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    I think you've got enough information now, but just to add one thing: don't commit to anything beyond what they're willing to do. Even if it sounds like a good deal to you (trading your software for freelance work-- completely your choice), then don't actually commit until they commit to the work. I'd recommend being very direct with them. The worst that will happen is that it will reveal their true intentions; the best would be if they explain they're really trying to work with you and just haven't finalized details yet (but of course be wary still).
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| espa˝ol | Deutsch | italiano | portuguŕs | catalÓ | un peu de franšais | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

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    Here's a suggestion (forgive me if I'm repeating anything from before) - renegotiate the agreement to a term of 6 months (or a year, or 3 months, etc.), with an option to renew for another term and on and on. At each renewal date, either party has the option to drop the agreement.

    That way, at any given anniversary, if you haven't gotten enough of the type of work that you feel is compensatory for giving up the right to publicly release the new version of Fast Edit, you can go ahead and release it.

    It will also give them the right to drop you as a freelancer if they no longer want the rights to v2.0.

    I'm curious though - what's to be the fate of a version 3, or even a version 2.2 under this arrangement?

    In any case, you should have a lawyer go over anything you do agree upon before committing to it.
    - John
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  10. #10
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    Hhhmmm, yes, much to ponder over - thanks for those suggestions John - I like the idea of a 3 or 6 month rolling contract so I'll suggest that.

    I hadnt given any future releases much consideration so I'm glad you prompted this line of thought too. I will mull this over before making my next move.

    (thanks to you other guys for replying aswell)
    Focus on Function Web Design
    Fast Edit (A flat file, PHP web page editor & CMS. Small, FREE, no database!) | Fast Edit BE (Snippet Manager) (Web content editor for multiple editable regions!) | Fast Apps

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