This is just theoretical question, without context.

In case

  • somebody hire me (as freelancer (I'm A1))
  • client (A2) wants to develop CLONE of an existing application from B1 company
  • after some time I give completed application to my client (A2)
  • after some time original owners of application (B1) I cloned want to go to court

Who would be responsive for damage caused to B1 company?

Me as freelancer (A1) or my client (A2) which runs that site and take money from it?

  • If you are worried about this situation how about just telling them. Any work will be total rework. This means if it took you 40 hours before it will still take you 40 hours to redevelop it. I am shocked your even getting work like this at your age.
    – Ramhound
    Jul 29, 2011 at 12:03
  • @Ramhound: Read first sentence, please
    – genesis
    Jul 29, 2011 at 12:05
  • 1
    In this theoretical context you need a lawyer. There are too many things to consider.
    – oleksii
    Jul 29, 2011 at 12:09
  • @oleksii: but by copying everything and giving my work to someone DOES NOT mean that I caused damaged to B1. It's on customer, how would he use it. Or am I wrong?
    – genesis
    Jul 29, 2011 at 12:11
  • @genesis, there are just too many things to consider. Speaking abstractly, given you copy Windows and sell it to Apple via Oracle, do you think you will stay white and fluffy? If you are worried about some actions against you, talk to a lawyer, you may get some free advice in other organisations. Do not leave the mess on its own.
    – oleksii
    Jul 29, 2011 at 12:19

1 Answer 1


Short answer: everyone involved. That's how lawyers work

Long answer: this depends on what exactly 'clone' means. If your work does not violate actual patents (for example being a clean-room reimplementation) there's hardly anything B1 can do. This does not mean however they will not try.

As with all things legal, this is also dependent on where you and your employee are located, details of your contract etc. In other words - consult a lawyer not an internet site.

Standard discalimer: I am not a lawyer

  • Thanks for answer. I cannot hire lawyer, look at my age. 'Clone' means to take CSS, images, html & rewrite PHP for example, to make Facebook clone look like faithout.com (clone of facebook with changed colors)
    – genesis
    Jul 29, 2011 at 11:55
  • 1
    Oh great! You're not of legal age, so A2 can't hire you. Problem solved ;P Seriously though: people are doing social websites in dozens, and I don't see Facebook suing them (why would it anyway - they were not the first social site). Images, CSS and other content however is protected by copyright, so usual consequences for violating it apply.
    – Mchl
    Jul 29, 2011 at 12:01
  • Actually brigarde is allowed from 15 in Czech Republic. It's not allowed to take brigade in 15 years in another statE?
    – genesis
    Jul 29, 2011 at 12:02
  • Facebook sued Teachbook [source]
    – genesis
    Jul 29, 2011 at 12:03
  • 1
    @genesis - Actually in this case you could not afford to not have an attorney. You are talking about knowingly stealing an appilcation. Even if they have difficulty proving it in this case it looks like a text book case of infringement and theft, and possibly software piracy. You would need someone skilled and knowledgable in these matters to help you through this and minimize your exposure. As for defending yourself there is a saying that goes something like "A man who acts as his own attorney has a fool for a client." Jul 29, 2011 at 13:02

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