Selling a php application

Posted on 2009-04-06
Last Modified: 2015-01-05

We have built a php application for our customer but now we have finished it and they are using it we are planning to sell it. However we have never sold any software and want to ask any advice from people in regards to what steps we need to take before we can legally sell it. Any advice on licensing laws, ip, copyrighting etc... Any advice or links to relevant info would be much appreciated.
Question by:sc_84
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Accepted Solution

Chrissalter earned 168 total points
ID: 24077826
When you say php do you mean an actual software app using the php.exe or a web app

if its a web app your greatest problem will be unauthorised replication, which unfortunately is very hard to contain.

if you are able to then i would contain all the apps main functions inside a dll and then force it to request an authcode from a remote server, this means that you will always know what instances there are in use, and what ip they are bound on

You could also use a little creativity and add a version number so that you can check version usage

As for selling it, there are various software sites, they use different methods but are all pretty self explaining

Author Comment

ID: 24077958

thanks, it will be a hosted php web application on our servers. And we dont plan on giving them ftp details so they will not be able to download scripts etc.. We are also going to make our own website to sell it. The only thing that concerns us is if there is anything we need to do or register by law before we sell or whether we have to set up some official licensing etc... are we are free to do what we like with that?
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

webwyzsystems earned 166 total points
ID: 24078146
I think you need to very carefully examine the licensing agreements for the components you are using. For example, if you have a mySQL backend - the GNU license has very particular requirements regarding use in commercial applications. PHP has licensing requirements itself.
- Make a list of all components you use, and review the licensing agreements carefully for each.
- Mitigate all the potential licensing issues. (you will never be sued while you are starting up...but if your project becomes successful, count on problems if you violate licensing agreements).
- You need to register your business and get a tax code of course.
- You will need a business license
- You will need a corporate bank account
- Register with the local Better Business Bureau (just a good idea, it's really cheap to do so)
- Register with the local safety branch, workers compensation board, whichever governs in your area.
- Carefully craft your own license agreement, require clients to agree prior to using your product.
That's all I have at the moment, and gotta head out. Good luck!

Author Comment

ID: 24078668
yes the components we are using are Mysql, php and PEAR (calendar and date), I thought as these were open source they are free to use commercially. But i will read the license agreements for these.

Assisted Solution

robyncoffey earned 166 total points
ID: 24305291
Read your licensing agreements for the open source modules, as well as the contract you have between your company and the customer you initially made the app for.  

But you need to check with an intellectual property attorney licensed in your state to write your own licensing agreement.  This can be complex and isn't as simple as copying a generic agreement off the Web or off the box of another piece of software.  Good luck!

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