Web designer rules?

Hi everyone, I have paid someone to help me to build a personal web site. I designed the website, completed all the layouts in adobe illustrator files , and designed all transition speed and details. However, the web designer (who didn’t do any design input in the task) said he should keep the original flash source file because he has created the program. It means I have to pay him to do updates in the future. Does anyone has experience of this? Is it a common rule in web design or is just him? :confused: I appreciate for any help.

It really comes down to what you agreed when you hired him. Obviously you retain copyright of the graph elements as they were you creation, but he could just as easily say that the coding etc is his creation… tricky. I would say that he is really just being a bit difficult so that he can almost force you to continue to pay him for work. I would see if you can reach some middle ground where you may have to pay him a small fixed fee for the orginal files etc. My advice to anyone would be to get all these small details ironed out before work even starts if you ever employ someone in the future. Did you agree that it was a one off… or that he would assist in the updating of the site? To me it would be fairly obvious that if you employ someone to build you a personal site for portfolio or what ever that you would sooner of later want to update it?

Jetset has it right. Depends completely on the terms of the contract you began with.

I do freelance web design and generally the source (.FLA) files are never handed over, only the output (.SWF). If a client wants them I usually charge extra because they are not only taking the content that I’ve produced, but also the custom Actionscript which exposes tricks and techniques that I might not want to give away.

The standard right now for all-flash websites is to produce them so that content can be updated through XML files without messing with the architecture of the programming. This allows pictures, text, and other items to be dynamically added and loaded into the site without any of the source files being modified.

Many of my clients also don’t really care because:

  1. They don’t own Studio 8 and don’t want to
  2. They don’t know Flash
  3. They don’t know Actionscript
  4. They don’t have time to mess with it

If you think you can manage the site yourself and decrypt what your web designer has done, then ask what his price is for the source files. Tell him that you really just needed the setup and can do the updates yourself. If they need a contract promising that you won’t redistribute the source files as a template for others to use, sign one and be done with it.