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Who owns rights to the app?

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LiveEntrepreneur

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Well I think I f*cked up, so I am paying for an app developer to help me with my app. And it came to my mind the other day, if I want to sell it who owns it? I see this purchase like any other, if I paid for it then its mine. But at the same time I do see this purchase as a bit different. I saw in the code that under the copyright section it has his details.
 

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splok

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Well I think I f*cked up, so I am paying for an app developer to help me with my app. And it came to my mind the other day, if I want to sell it who owns it? I see this purchase like any other, if I paid for it then its mine. But at the same time I do see this purchase as a bit different. I saw in the code that under the copyright section it has his details.

Unless you have a written agreement in place, then it's up in the air. Google a bit on 'work for hire', ip assignment, and developer contracts, and you'll get a good idea of how to protect yourself. It's pretty standard to require the assignment of ownership of a work to whoever's paying for that work, but if it isn't spelled out specifically, it can cause trouble. Here's an exmaple: Work for Hire Agreements, Work-for-Hire Agreements; Freelance Agreements; Copyright Assignment

Depending on how much you think it matters, you may want to halt the project until your developer agrees to sign a doc that gives you the rights you need. The longer you wait, the harder it will get.
 

Late Bloomer

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If you don't say for sure, it's up to local law. Your law, or the law where the contractor is if he or she is someplace else? That's also unclear, so your contract needs a venue term: "Venue: The parties agree that this contract will be interpreted according the laws of New South Wales, and any legal action regarding this contract will be filed in the Sydney District Civil Court."

Your contract needs to have something like this in it: "Work for Hire: Contractor agrees that this project is a Work For Hire project. Contractor releases all copyright and intellectual property rights for all code and other work products generated by Contractor to the Client. Client's payment as specified in this Contract as accepted by Contractor for Contractor providing a complete, permanent, irrevocable, worldwide release to Client of all control and usage of code and other work products. Upon Client's payment in full, Contractor releases to Client all moral rights and all claims to be recognized as the author of the work for copyright purposes."

Check with a local legal expert to be sure. There might be a government agency that can give free advice to businesses. The local public library's reference librarian should be able to help you find who that would be. Otherwise, check with law firms to find a free 10 minute consultation, which is really all you should need for a standard contract like this.
 

LiveEntrepreneur

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Unless you have a written agreement in place, then it's up in the air. Google a bit on 'work for hire', ip assignment, and developer contracts, and you'll get a good idea of how to protect yourself. It's pretty standard to require the assignment of ownership of a work to whoever's paying for that work, but if it isn't spelled out specifically, it can cause trouble. Here's an exmaple: Work for Hire Agreements, Work-for-Hire Agreements; Freelance Agreements; Copyright Assignment

Depending on how much you think it matters, you may want to halt the project until your developer agrees to sign a doc that gives you the rights you need. The longer you wait, the harder it will get.
Ok thanks.
 

LiveEntrepreneur

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If you don't say for sure, it's up to local law. Your law, or the law where the contractor is if he or she is someplace else? That's also unclear, so your contract needs a venue term: "Venue: The parties agree that this contract will be interpreted according the laws of New South Wales, and any legal action regarding this contract will be filed in the Sydney District Civil Court."

Your contract needs to have something like this in it: "Work for Hire: Contractor agrees that this project is a Work For Hire project. Contractor releases all copyright and intellectual property rights for all code and other work products generated by Contractor to the Client. Client's payment as specified in this Contract as accepted by Contractor for Contractor providing a complete, permanent, irrevocable, worldwide release to Client of all control and usage of code and other work products. Upon Client's payment in full, Contractor releases to Client all moral rights and all claims to be recognized as the author of the work for copyright purposes."

Check with a local legal expert to be sure. There might be a government agency that can give free advice to businesses. The local public library's reference librarian should be able to help you find who that would be. Otherwise, check with law firms to find a free 10 minute consultation, which is really all you should need for a standard contract like this.
Thanks.
 

LiveEntrepreneur

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Do you need to include this in your contracts for next time?
Yes, I would assume so. I mean I guess a contract is just extra security I could always just simply ask the dev, but they could change their minds or something like that so its always good to have a contract.
 
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