There have been questions like this before but in most cases, the people who ask those questions are part of a certain company which isn’t the case for me.
Company Z offers companies A-X to put apps on the App Store for them so those companies are “visible” on the App Store. The apps are pretty generic and when I agreed to make an app for them (freelancing all the way, I am not employed there), they told me that there is a lot of apps to come so it’s only going to be a copy&paste job for me (change links, change icons, change colors, compile). Keeping this in mind, I’ve set up a very dynamic model for all the app’s contents so I don’t have to re-invent the wheel for every product that comes after that.
Now, someone from company Z told me that they’ve overheard someone in the company saying something along the lines of employing another freelancer the next time. I don’t care much about “losing” the “job” or keeping it, but this single app has made me $ 2000 with a perspective of $ 40’000 for all the other apps to come. I’ve set up a backend, the highly dynamic model that I’ve mentioned before and structured the app in a way that all the “global” adjustments like colors and fonts can easily be changed app-wide from within one class that holds all the constants. I definitely am completely underpaid for the countless hours I’ve invested in this project but it would’ve paid off big time if I were to make the other ~20 apps for the same price.
My question now is whether or not I am legally obligated to hand over the source code for app A. I am not gonna “destroy” the backend as it’s on their servers and would break app A entirely but I also don’t think that it’s right to give away a bread-making-machine for the price of a bread. I only agreed to writing an app, not providing them with a mechanism to write new apps.
So far, they haven’t talked to me about all this yet and I don’t even know if the person who overheard the conversation about dropping me is right but if it comes to that I would either demand them to pay me a couple of extra thousands to hand over the source code or make them pick me for the next couple of apps so my efforts pay off. The question is, what position I have here from a legal standpoint. There also hasn’t been a single written contract so what’s the “default” law?
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