Often a company does not have the creative talent on staff to create splashy marketing materials or to take professional photographs for its next newsletter. Rather than having an employee for that work who you may not need to utilize every day, it is common to outsource that work to an independent contractor.
It sounds absurd, but without a written, signed contract from the photographer, copywriter, graphic designer, or software developer in which he assigns all if his rights in his work to the company, the ownership of the intellectual property stays with the contractor.
Read that paragraph again. It’s one of the most important things we can ever tell you.
This rule of law applies to anyone who isn’t an employee of yours and who is creating copyrightable work product for you. Employees are different—the work they create in the scope of their employmentautomatically belongs to their employer. But how much of what an employee learns on the job can he take with him to his next job, possibly with one of your competitors? We can work with you to make sure all your employees are covered by the appropriate non-competition and non-disclosure agreements so that your company’s know-how doesn’t walk out the door with them.
At Rick Sanders Law, we can make sure you have the agreement you need to get you the ownership you’re supposed to have. Contact us to see how that process begins.