Software Development Agreement Work Made For Hire
It is not uncommon for custom software development contracts to call mandated software „Work made for hire”. While it can be assumed that the intention of such a language is to transfer the copyright to the buyer, and not to the developer, pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 201(b), such language may, in many cases, have a legal effect on copyright ownership and, in some cases, have unintended labor law consequences. The nature of the software in question in Stanacard highlights an interesting feature of modern computer coding. It`s rare that the software development project is nothing more than a programmer re-creates a single piece of source code from the base. On the contrary, programming is usually done by assembling a patchwork from existing code with new code, thus creating new systems. But even if the new code is fully recreated, it can still be considered a „contribution to a collective work” when the new code needs to be written for certain aspects of a program, but can be considered a work that can be protected. For example, in iXL, brand new code created for a website was considered part of a collective work: „The source code that was written for each section of the complainant`s website is a separate and independent work and is a contribution to the collective whole – that is, the site.” 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3784 to *27. • part of a cinematographic film or other audiovisual work; Phase III – Receipt and delivery of the software The Copyright Act contains an essential exception to the default rule with the „Work Made for Hire” doctrine. According to this doctrine, copyright in certain works does not belong to the original author, but to the person who entrusted the author with the creation of the work.
17 U.S.C§ 201(b). For example, a work created by „a worker in the course of his or her employment” is a work that has been made for rent and whose copyright belongs to the individual`s employer. 17 U.S.C§ 101. NO: If the answer is no and your company does not have or has not had an adequate agreement with independent contractors that states that the delivery item is „temporary work”, the analysis stops there. At least according to the law, the work does NOT constitute „temporary work” and belongs to the independent contractor. It should be noted that orders are subject to certain restrictions that do not affect works opposed to rental. Copyright law allows, inter alia, an author or the author`s heir to terminate an assignment in certain circumstances….