Racine, WI asked in Intellectual Property for Wisconsin

Q: If someone was to program a piece of software for an organization, hosted on their server, can they use it if they leave

Let's say you make a piece of software for an organization, and it is hosted upon their server, and also hosted on their github, but later moved it to your own personal private github.

There was no contract signed.

If you leave said organization, is the organization allowed to continue usage of that code?

The piece of code in question *still* being hosted on the organizations servers, and soley for the purpose of running said organization.

Furthermore, if the person that left states that they do not want you to use it anymore, does the organization have to comply?

I hope this was clear enough, I know contacting an official lawyer would be the best course of action but just trying to get a general sense of how it works.

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: That depends on factors, including whether the programmer was an employee or a contractor, whether the programmer owned it prior to the installation onto the server or it was done specifically for the company, and whether the person was paid for the work of writing the program, etc.

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