Works Made for Hire

November 15, 2013, 6:36 PM

Did you recently discover that you do not own something you thought you did, like your software, website or logo? The basic rule is that if your employee creates something for you as the employer, that is within the scope of his or her employment, then you as the employer own that work. If, however, you contract with an independent third party, then that third party owns the work unless you have agreed otherwisein writing. When engaging a third party to write code, design a website, or create copy, a logo or other materials, the terms of your engagement should be in writing and clearly state that the works are being created specifically for you and are considered works made for hire. In addition, the third party should specifically assign and transfer to you all rights, title and interest in and to the work that is being created. Without this written agreement and specific language, you dont own the work that you otherwise paid for. - Nicole J. Harrell