Crestron source code. What is delivered at the end of a project?
Hi, I’m Niko from A-Knowledge. Let’s discuss a quite sensitive topic in our industry, and that’s the one regarding source code. We have been involved in quite a few projects where we have seen customers and Crestron programmers have completely different opinions on what has to be delivered at the end of the project. Typically, the customer believes that all source code for a solution has to be delivered. Whereas, the Crestron programmer believes that at least certain aspects of that code are his intellectual property and should not be disclosed.
Now, to figure out where that discussion is coming from, we have to go back in time bit, and we have to understand that our industry has a history of writing custom code for every project. Now, no matter whether you’re doing commercial or residential installs, you’re bound to see certain functionality coming back over and over again throughout different project, and that is why Crestron programmers over time have started to create certain pieces of functionality, certain libraries or modules, and reusing them throughout different projects and different customers. And this is where the discussion is coming from. You, in fact, have a bit of projectized code being used in a bigger custom environment, and you have two parties that look at the matter from two different, completely different views. Now, the customer is simply looking at it as being a custom development made for himself. Now, the Crestron programmer, he sees that these libraries, they have not been created for that specific customer. Those are in fact an ongoing development that spread maybe over several years that the programmer has invested in on itself.
Now, we’re not here to express our opinion on the matter, because quite frankly, no matter which side we choose, we’re bound to have 50% of you guys against us, but let us just say that to avoid this discussion, just tackle it head on. Beginning of the project, sit down with your customer and talk about this, make the agreement up front, and don’t allow it to be a discussion at the end of the project, at delivery, because at that point, you’re both bound to lose.