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Working Computer files?

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A client has requested all files created for a specific project we have worked on. It was a flash project and was wondering if the release of the .fla files "must" be handed over or just the completed project. Is this not similar to opening our file cabinets and giving access to all methods as to how we completed the work, notes, changes etc.? (NH)


Senior Member
It really depends on the exact terms of your agreement with the client.

If there was a written agreement, what does it say about what is and is not deleiverable to the client? If there was no written agreement, was this discussed and what was agreed to?

If there was no discussion, what "the files" consist of would depend on the normal practice and custom of the trades. Although I do not know the precise details of the software, you obviously could never be expected to turn over the Flash file from Marcromedia if its license to you did not permit you to do so.

Normally one's work notes -- reflecting the entire creative process -- would not be turned over.

The usual response companies make is to turn over what they are comfortable turning over, and nothing more. If the other party wants more, then the ball is in its court. ALso, if you haven't been fully paid for something, don't turn it over.


Thank you

ALaywer, Thank you for taking the time to respond. We have basically done what you had proposed. We turned over what files we felt comfortable with. After seeking legal advice, there was no "work for hire" agreement, nor any written agreements prior to this event, and we took the stand of previous standards and agreements of other clients. Our standards practice was that all "working files" *the creative processes* we kept as prioprietary works.

Thank you again for your input.

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