Business Opinion

How do independent contractors protect their intellectual property?

Protecting the rights to intellectual property as an independent contractor or Freelance Worker, 35% of American workforces are organized by independent contractors or freelance workers. Altogether, their annual earning is approximately 1.1 trillion dollars & 2.9 million are the business owners among them. When the intellectual property (IP) is made by the independent contractor or freelancer, different issues are frequently raised concerning work ownership. Determining intellectual property owners could be the challenge which leads to the courtroom and here the creator and hiring party of the particular work do the battle. Appreciating the pertaining law to intellectual property rights & use of the well-drafted contracts can avoid the conflicts.

Works developed by the employees

The law of Federal Copyright saves the software program, manuscript or several forms of IP by comprehending that person’s ownership rights for their own creation. The person who has developed some computer programs consented to the protection of copyright at the creation in the fixed form. Situations become more complicated when the software created by any independent contractor or freelance worker hired to make it.

Hiring for work is something that is established within a scope of the business according to ownership rights copyright act. Absent of contract between parties States, or else the employer will be the holder of particular work. e.g. copyright for a picture of any romantic scene taken as a person’s employment course as a photographer of a newspaper belongs to that news organisation but not that photographer. In case that photographer takes leave from a particular newspaper & takes that picture, he or she may be the copyright owner and it will be fixed after stating an agreement.

Specially commissioned or ordered works

The copyright act for the works commissioned from a freelancer of any independent contractor is occupied by the creators when that particular work is ordered or commissioned as a portion of what becomes the collective work. Especially the commissioned works are included the intended for the USAge in following:

  • Atlases
  • Tests
  • Translations
  • Compilations
  • Collective works

Contribution to the motion pictures

Unless all the parties are agreed in writing for treating the works as someone created for hire. Those freelancers who create it own that copyright to her or his work. When a producer pays the cinematographer for the permission to utilise any picture in a particular scene then the copyright to that cinematographer is occupied by that person who gets the picture. Basically, copyright ownership of any movie is carried by that particular producer.

Make written agreements to avoid disputes & protect intellectual property ownership right

Engagement of the freelance worker or independent contractor will contain the creativity of IP and it should consist of the contract which is drafted by the attorney. Its practices are focused on intellectual property, contract law and copyrights. That contract clearly defines the obligations and rights of every party to each other to create new work.

The contract to create intellectual property naturally includes expenditures making the expectation of those parties using the work. Those may consist of specifying it as the works to hire as interpreted under copyright laws. Believing the intentions of the parties, the work ownership can be maintained by an independent contractor or freelance worker with the license which is granted to several parties for the usage.

Let’s Sum up

There are lots of terms and conditions for protecting the particular intellectual property. Independent  Contractors may follow the detailed steps to achieve IP rights. Once someone’s creativity is enlisted in a copyright chart, nobody can’t misuse it. To maintain the employee, employer and contractor chain it is the most effective way one can appreciate.

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