I am in the process of reviewing proposals for a web development project I am develping.

I realize this is a developer's forum but I need some tips that will protect both parties specifically me. ;)

My main priority is maintaining all rights and ownership of the software that I am paying for. Are there any commly used contact boilerplates or stipulations that I can use?

Thanks for your help.

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If I understand you correct then you are saying "I am paying someone to write the code for me", correct?

The law works this way for software development --
The company or entity whose employees' created the software owns it unless specifically stated otherwise. They have tests for whether you are an employee such as
* Do you show up on site between certain hours regularly
* Does the entity you are employed with provide benefits
* Does the entity you are employed with withold taxes

There are a number of other tests for this but thats it in a nutshell. If you also have development from many companies it can also get a little hairy. You should have the software developers sign an NDA about the project (always -- its never used but there if you need it), and you should have the people developing your software submit a contract to you saying that the code belongs to you. I'm not saying sign their contract but get it and take a look at it. They will usually itemize things that are generic across all of their software packages OR give you a hint if they're trying to hide something.

As far as I know as long you claim all of the technologies developed for that project belong to you -- then you are good to go. If IP law goes in to litigation it is very expensive and few attorneys are qualified to handle it so you can usually reach an agreement outside of court if they distribute your product. They will also not likely sign a contract saying "all technology" for the project belong to you as almost every software house has their own internal code base they use as a template for a new project and I feel this is acceptable.

Here is a copy of my "generic" NDA for new software (daniweb won't let me upload a .docx so here is a huge PDF with embedded fonts instead). I'm on the other end of the spectrum than you are but new clients usually call me wanting to sign an NDA and don't have one :P

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply Scott. I really appreciate it. Best to you.

You're welcome.

Please mark this thread as solved if you have found an answer to your question and good luck!

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