Developing plugins for clients

DSP, Plug-in and Host development discussion.
Topic Starter
5 posts since 29 Nov, 2022

Post Wed Dec 07, 2022 10:00 am

Hi there. I'm starting to develop plugins for other people and I'm a bit confused about Software Development Agreements, code-signing, and licensing :?

If anyone has been down this road and could offer any advice, I'd greatly appreciate it. Here are my main thoughts:

I'm using my own DSP library and intend to reuse it for other projects so, when a client asks me to develop a plugin, I want to provide the plugin itself and not the source code.

My question is, who codesigns the plugin at build stage? On Mac, for example, I could use my Developer ID to codesign it, but then my name is tied to the plugin. Maybe that's not an issue, but would it wiser for me to codesign using my client's own ID (if possible)? (And would that affect the rights to the code, which I want to keep?)

Also, if my client wants the plugin to be wrapped in an installer (on Windows, say), who would codesign the installer? I wouldn't want my name to be the 'verified publisher' that appears on UAC warnings, so could I sign the installer on their behalf using their certificate?

Thanks in advance :)

User avatar
14241 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Wed Dec 07, 2022 12:41 pm

Codesigning is merely a thing to give end users some form of trust about the origin of software. Codesigning should be done by the publisher, so that's not your responsibility.

You are the owner of the intellectual property, which is in the source code. You license someone else to include it in compiled form in their product. Your rights should thus be protected.
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18 posts since 2 Jul, 2021

Post Wed Dec 07, 2022 1:45 pm

If your client demands that they become the owners of the source code ("work for hire"), you don't want to give them the rights to your own DSP library. They just get ownership over the part that's unique to the specific product you're developing for them. The DSP library is considered your "background technology". They will probably want the source code to the library, but you'd license this to them under a non-exclusive license that only gives them the right to use it as part of this particular product, but they can't sell it / sublicense it / etc.

(I am not a lawyer. It makes sense to consult one.)

640 posts since 17 Sep, 2007 from Planet Thanet

Post Wed Dec 07, 2022 2:22 pm

I'd say you absolutely must consult a lawyer and one who is up to date on IP and software law! I've been in a similar situation but was lucky in that I was working for a university so their lawyers handled everything. If your client has a lawyer and you don't prepare for the worst :)

The situation is, maybe, getting more complex as more countries are thinking about imposing liability laws on software developers.

Topic Starter
5 posts since 29 Nov, 2022

Post Fri Dec 09, 2022 2:56 am

Thanks for all of your suggestions - I appreciate it :)

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