> Hi
> I have a funny request; I wrote a system for a client and am rather
> concerned that I am not going to receive payment for the work done. They
> want me to hand over the code before they are willing to pay, so
> basically I will be left at their mercy; if they don't pay, they will
> still have a working version of the system...
> So, is there any way I can inconspicuously code in some boo-boo's that
> are time related etc. Something that will bomb the mysql tables or break
> some code if it is not "unlocked" within a month etc.
> I'm not sure if people out tjere might have existing safeguard tools
> etc, so I'm open for suggestions.
> PS, I know about Zend's encrypter, but since it will live on their
> server, I don't think it will help much since they will need the
> decrypter on there anyway right?

I wouldn't do something like this, there's too many legalities at stake.
Personally I would suggest requiring at least a modest retainer before
transmitting the code if you don't trust him (and in the future you may want
to consider getting a deposit from a company before even beginning work).
The other thing you could do is encode the file using the zend encoder and
transmit just the compiled version to them....then they could still wind up
not paying you but worse case scenario means they get the code only as is,
no ability to modify it or fix bugs.  I know you mention in your post you're
aware of it but trust me, being unable to fix any bugs with it can serious
cause problems....or to even go a step further you could add an extra line
of code (assuming you encode this of course) the does an http call to a
file/url on a server you control....you could instruct your program
immediately terminate if it cannot access that specific file.  Then if the
company doesn't pay you, you remove that file and poof the program is no
longer usable....and since it's encoded they could not determine what the
problem is nor solve it.

However in the future I strongly urge you to get a deposit for any projects
you're going to work on.  Such a retainer is perfectly acceptable in a
circumstance like this....and it protects you from companies deciding to
terminate a project mid-development (or if they don't pay you, you at least
get something out of it).


Craig Vincent

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