I work at a college as web-dev contractor, however most of my work is on private servers because head of the lab wants to avoid bureaucracy. I'm very privacy-conscious and I would like everything that I do to be under a gdpr-like policy. I'm also worried that they just take away the servers and dismiss me. So how can I subtly address my concerns and ensure that what I do isn't being used for profit without my consent or university's?


Technically you cannot. When you work for someone in software, the IP rights of the work is managed by the person paying you the money ( unless its explicitly agreed beforehand and in writing). Please refer to your contract, it is a standard practise in this part of the works to include this in the contract.

If you don't own the rights on your work and have vested them to the university, your consent is not needed since the university owns whatever work you have produced for them.

Since you mentioned it may be used for private gain ( i am assuming by someone from university without university consent) as well, you should include copyright in the name of university in each source code file. If university agrees, you can put your contact information in there. But thats about it. Where it goes from there is not in your control.

  • Thanks, I'm ok with the university owning my work, but I wouldn't be ok if some researcher just took my code, claim it as their own and do as they please with it. Also isn't it reasonable to ask for an adequate privacy policy when using my code? This is my fist job as developer so sorry if I'm being naive. – user104738 May 16 at 8:41
  • It sounds like what you're asking for is to somehow license the code you're writing with terms dictating how that code can be used. If that's not what you negotiated before taking on the contract, and it's not something the client specifically requested, it's hard to see how you can do anything other than discuss your concerns and hope for the best. Nobody is going to agree to grant a contract developer a license over how they use that developer's work. It might be different if you were selling them a software product, rather than your time. – delinear May 16 at 9:17

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