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I'm afraid one of my clients might ask his fellow software engineer to design a few page templates for a WordPress-based community I'm redesigning, according to my code and design. He just bounced me back an estimate cutting down expenses on page templates and leaving only the frontpage template, which is clearly the only one he can easily replicate into multiple page templates, for the core pages whose templates he just dismissed.

Is there any way to protect my code and designs with strict licensing? Are there any ways to protect my work from being copied by my own client? Which licenses should I use?

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What did the contract between you and your client specify? –  ZippyV Aug 21 '11 at 16:34
    
Addendum to @ZippyV's comment: You do have a contract, right? –  Su' Aug 22 '11 at 0:15
    
No, I don't have a contract. I've been working "under the table" for four years and only now I'm starting to go legal. Can you guys recommend me some reading on that? –  João Ramos Aug 22 '11 at 16:25
    
Consult a lawyer. –  ZippyV Aug 22 '11 at 22:03
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would expect a contract for a website design and development to contain clauses that transfer the rights to the design and code to the client after the work is done. So it is no longer "your" code and design, save for personal rights. What you are really asking here is what you can do if your client wants to change the contract. That depends on the contract, of course. However, I think there is no reason to stick with this particular client. Just get paid for what you have already done and move on. It does not make sense to cooperate with people who want to treat you like that. The cheapest clients are the worst kind.

Sorry if it does not answer your question directly but this is the best advice I can offer.

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