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Can I ask payment for Source Code from client?

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
11 of 14
Jaidev, the client is probably going to give you bad feedback, but you can at least try to limit how bad it will be. However, if you withhold code and ask for payment, the client can accuse you of extortion and you’ll have to justify that, even if you use a feedback removal perk, unless you want “feedback was removed by the freelancer” displayed in your work history. Still, if getting even is so important, then go ahead and cut off your nose to spite your face as the saying goes.
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Ace Contributor
Md. Arafat - Member Since: Apr 5, 2018
12 of 14

It was helpful to know what you said, thanks for submitting such this issue. 

Thanks again.

Md Arafat
Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
13 of 14

Jaidev = I am posting a reply I made to another freelancer with the same problem concerning the source code. 

The client thinks, because they paid for the finished product that the source code comes with it. I can understand a client wanting those files. In the future, if they need editing or modifications to the job, and you are not available anymore, then what? Did you ever indicate to the client that the source file is yours and that you will not include that with the finished product or that it will cost extra for the source files.

You, as the freelancer do not have to give the client the source files. But, do you want to keep your client happy, avoid the stress that you're having, end the hassle?  Communications MUST occur between both of you so an agreement can be accomplished which makes both of you happy.


One of the things I suggest is to give the client the source files only because nothing was mentioned about it on your part. during the interview or when you accepted the contract. Nor did the client understand that the source files were not a part of the job he paid for and did not include that as part of his requirements.  Or perhaps you can give him the source files at a VERY discounted price.

Having said that, I advise you, when submitting proposals, that you specifically mention that source files are not a part of what you will deliver and if they want them they will cost $XXX extra (that’s if you want to sell the source files. )


Community Guru
Vivek K Member Since: May 28, 2016
14 of 14
There is no fixed price on hourly contract.If dispute mechanism , which is an inherent part of conracts here, has decided you worked 36 hours @ x $/hr ,then that is your final price and if those hours have been paid that means you have been paid in full. You will need to go to a court and seek remedy , if you do not agree.

The other way is to refund fully and keep your codes to yourself, this is perfectly allowed according to terms.

The paid work product belongs completely to client .Asking client additional money to hand them over is 'extortion 'and it is a crime everywhere.

You may be lucky and client may not sue you and you may get away with it.
But if the client files a complaint, it will be pretty difficult to justify it with
' I did it because she was rude'.
'upwork support said do as you wish'.

You are a party to contract and not upwork. Infact, if upwork gets accused of supporting such activity, all it has do is to kick the freelancer out of market place to demonstrate it has zero tolerance for such criminal activity.

I would suggest to give client the codes and give them a feedback(if your intention is to warn the other freelancer s) ,clients have no way to delete a feedback, unless it violates upwork terms.
refund and keep your codes to yourself.

I am not a lawyer and these are just my opinion. Do whatever suits you.