Not sure if SE is the right place to ask, so checking first...

I am writing a web-based app for use in a private office (local network, no outside access). We have an agreement that they are not to sell the application on without my involvement.

I am concerned that the client may zip up the app files, including a database backup and sell them to someone else without telling me. I want some advice as to how to prevent this (if I can).

Is this on-topic for this site? If not, any suggestions as to where would be?


  • What kind of agreement? You probably need to talk your options through with a lawyer
    – HorusKol
    Dec 3, 2019 at 10:25

1 Answer 1


If you want advice about technical measures you can take against theft of your code, then that would be on-topic, but the answers will likely be disappointing because the measures are either easy to circumvent or expensive.

If you want advice about non-technical, like legal, measures then that is off-topic here. Legal matters can best be discussed with a lawyer in your area.

  • Thanks, I meant the technical side of things. My guess is that it would be like you say, but I thought it worth asking in case. Dec 3, 2019 at 14:08
  • @AvrohomYisroel: the solution to this problem is probably not to focus on the technical side but more on the legal side and how to make a contract which forbids reselling.
    – Doc Brown
    Dec 3, 2019 at 14:15
  • @DocBrown Yeah, but the legal stuff is only any use if you find out they've sold it on, can prove it, and want the hassle and unpleasantness of taking legal action. I was looking for something that would make it not worth their while trying. Dec 3, 2019 at 14:19
  • 1
    @AvrohomYisroel: when your web application contains a notice "licensed to client XYZ exclusively" and this matches the contract, most clients will be very hesitant to sell such an application to 3rd parties. There is always the risk for them of some former employee (of the client or the 3rd party) who is willing to report a licence or contract breach. To my experience, this is in most cases far more effective than any technical measures (but YMMV).
    – Doc Brown
    Dec 3, 2019 at 14:39
  • @DocBrown Hmm, never thought about a licence notice. That's a very good idea. So simple, but quite effective. Thanks Dec 3, 2019 at 15:12

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