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Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.How much does he currently owe you from the balance? I am also assuming that he wasn't your employer but a third party, correct?
Thank you for your post. Your original contributor here.There are other considerations.I do agree that if your position or your general skill set with your current employer is similar to what you created by yourself, the source code and the intellectual property belongs to the employer since the work is still based on the subject matter and what your employer would have reasonably expected from you as part of your employment. However, if there was an agreement in place permitting you to code on your own or create your own applications or programs not directly related to the employer's business or your position, then you likewise can own the product.The reason I brought up the amount you are owed is because what this also comes down to, other than whether this is a 'work for hire' or if it is even an application that belongs to you is that it is a potential breach of contract claim. That can be pursued in either small claims or district court depending on the amount you were promised but not paid. It may become a situation where you would need to go to federal court, but from your facts that is not yet apparent, and you may be able to resolve this without complicating this issue to the extent the other contributor alluded to, and resolve it directly as a pure contract matter.Please take care.
Hello again, A breach of contract claim in state court, whether small claims or otherwise, without also claiming copyright infringement, would make it impossible to later bring an infringement claim on the same transactions or occurrences, because you would have failed to plead the copyright claim in your contract action. The only court in which you can bring both actions is U.S. District Court -- and since the copyright infringement action is worth enormously more than the contract action, it would be a huge mistake to sue on the contract and not for the infringement. Of course, if you are an employee, due to your scope of regular employment, then there would be no copyright infringement claim. But, if you are an employee, then you can file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) for wages and overtime (or just wages if you are salary exempt) -- and the DLSE hearing officer would handle the case much more effectively than any small claims court could, because this is the core of DLSE legal proceedings. Whereas small claims courts in California rarely, if ever hear employment wage claims. For info on filing a DLSE wage claim, should you decide that this is the appropriate route, see this link.Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
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