Discuss Legal Documents for small software projects in the Business Help forum on Dev Shed. Legal Documents for small software projects Business Help forum discussing Business Documents, Copyright Law, Contracts, Non-Compete issues and more. Disclaimer: Always consult an attorney; this is just a place to discuss ideas.
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Legal Documents for small software projects
Myself and some friends have been working on this small software project for a while now. I have an outside party interested in helping us with this project, however I have some reservations before bringing him on board.
1. I want to protect our source. My concern is there is nothing stopping this person from stealing it if I give him full access to our sourcecode. Would an NDA document help here?
2. I'd like his contributions, and further contributions (by any willing member) to the project, to belong to "the project". Is there anything I could do to enforce this?
3. I'm not really interested in forming a legal entity at this point. Would these documents, or any documents, I have people sign to enforce these policies carry any legal weight whatsoever?
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Agreements between any two parties, if they are clearly defined, are almost always considered legal. You should be as clear as possible with anyone you work with, and I think the advice about talking with a lawyer if you are not sure is a good one.
Good luck with your project!
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My best piece of advice is to include language that states your client will pay legal fees if it comes to that. After tangling with a couple of deadbeats, my lawyers both told me I'm hosed without that and there's no way to collect fees otherwise.
Your situation may be different, but it certainly won't hurt. And remember a contract is intended to protect BOTH parties. It should spell out everything...timelines, expectations, project details, payment terms, changes, whatever applies. If there's ever a question, you'll have the contract to refer to.