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Thread: Who owns the FLA?

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  1. #1
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    Who owns the FLA?

    A while back there was some discussion over who owns the FLA files - the designer or the site owner. I couldn't locate it, but what are peoples current thoughts? I have a situation where this question has become relevant. My feeling is that the designer owns the FLA. After all, clients are buying the finished product, not the tools it was built with. Tell me what you think.
    [swf width="300" height="40" background="#000000"]
    http://www.xtywebworks.ns.ca/flashfooter.swf[/swf]

  2. #2
    Retired Mod aversion's Avatar
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    there's no automatic assumption under law to my knowledge, you have to spell things like this out in a contract.

    many places I know charge a heavy premium (at least 50% of the project cost) if the client wants to 'own' the source files, including FLAs, images, etc.

  3. #3
    Bad Monkey qetret's Avatar
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    I'd have thought that th fla was part of the finished product, and flash was the tool

  4. #4
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    The swf is part of the finished project (just like you don't give them your ai, psd). If the client pays for the fla, give them the fla.

  5. #5
    Bad Monkey qetret's Avatar
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    Yeah, vbut the .fla is still a result of what you do using flash, thus making it an end product.

  6. #6
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    This is how I see it...

    Product > Raw Format > End Result

    Illustrator > AI > GIF (or whatever)

    Photoshop > PSD > JPG (or whatever)

    Flash > FLA > SWF (exe, hqx, png, gif, mov)


    Either way, they get whatever is specifed in the contract.
    Last edited by gSOLO_01; 06-07-2003 at 12:46 PM.

  7. #7
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    The FLA seems to be a bit of a gray area here. The FLA is necessary to make future changes, but if those changes are going to be made by someone other than the original author do you feel like giving your code and technique away? Potentially someone could steal your ideas and methods and in effect obtain future business off of your back. I don't think it matters whether the FLA is pure genius or not. It is still your creativity and the end result of hours of study, years of practice. In my particular situation there is no contract to fall back on and the client and I are about to fire each other. At some point he may need the FLA's, but in whose lap will it land? That is my concern.
    [swf width="300" height="40" background="#000000"]
    http://www.xtywebworks.ns.ca/flashfooter.swf[/swf]

  8. #8
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    By hanging on to the flas, you may gain future business. Thats why you would charge an arm and a leg to give them away.

  9. #9
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    I generally have very good relationships with my clients and the subject of FLAs has never arisen. I guess it was bound to sooner or later. A clearly spelled out contract is my future fix for this dilema, but I am still at a loss as to what the right thing to do here is. Since my client here would know nothing about FLAs it is safely presumed that he is talking to someone who does and it is that someone getting my source code that grinds. All of my clients have come to me based on work of mine they have seen - I live on a remote island so door knocking is really not feasable - and I think what really bugs me is someone else putting their name on my work. On the other hand maintenance is not possible without the FLAs and that future work will not be preformed by me. So, who knows? Thanks for you input everyone.
    [swf width="300" height="40" background="#000000"]
    http://www.xtywebworks.ns.ca/flashfooter.swf[/swf]

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