Outsourcing & Copyright issues

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Essential Clix, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Essential Clix

    Essential Clix Executive VIP

    Jul 30, 2007
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    When you outsource a programming project to someone, who actually owns the rights to the software that is created? The programmer, or the person who paid for the project?
  2. scubaslick

    scubaslick Regular Member

    Aug 23, 2007
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    I can't speak for outside the US, but in the US it can be either way, you just specify it in the contract. One is called a work for hire, which means the person paying for it owns the end result. The other is a license agreement, which would be stipulated at the beginning of the contract.

    Most of the contract middlemen companies (elance for example) will have the terms available for review and the default seems to be work for hire, where the person paying the contractor owns the result, but you should be very specific, search it out, spell out the terms in your RFP (request for proposal) so there is no question on the part of the author or the network.

    If you're skipping the 3rd party approach (hiring them directly), be sure you lay out the terms in a signed contract with your contractor. Yes, it's worth paying an attorney for a proper work for hire contract. I did some copy writing without proper contracts early in life and found out the hard way that it isn't an automatic process.

    Keep in mind that this is entirely a negotiable subject. Your writer may be willing to give up all rights in exchange for cash, author credit, a percentage of sales (if there are any sales involved) or many other things or combinations thereof, or, they may be unwilling to give up rights at all, depending on their experience level and the complexity of the project in question.

    My advice: don't take my advice. On this one, pay an attorney if you think there's ANY chance that significant money or time will change hands. A few grand is usually no big deal. More than about $2000 and I'd be looking for a contract if I were you unless you know, or have reason to trust, the other party. And even then... I've seen so many of my friends get burned, even by other friends, when suddenly a lot of money was on the table that wasn't expected.

    Just be careful.