#1
  1. No Profile Picture
    Contributing User
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    132
    Rep Power
    248

    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?

    Thanks!

    Comments on this post

    • gimp agrees : Interesting. Also, it seems like you want sourceforge except with a closed source.
  2. #2
  3. No Profile Picture
    Brony & F/OSS Advocate
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Anaheim, CA (USA)
    Posts
    6,653
    Rep Power
    2476
    Moved from the Lounge to Business Help, where you'll (hopefully) get more accurate and in-depth legal information.
    ~~ Peter ~~ :: ( Who am I? ) :: ( Peter's Musings: Uploading myself, bit by bit... ) :: ( Electronic Frontier Foundation ) :: ( I'm a GNU/Linux addict and Free Software Advocate. ) :: ( How to Ask Questions the Smart Way ) :: ( The Fedora Project, sponsored by Red Hat ) :: ( GNOME: The Free Software Desktop Project ) :: ( GnuPG Public Key ) :: ( About me on the WIki )
  4. #3
  5. No Profile Picture
    Contributing User
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    London
    Posts
    42
    Rep Power
    6
    i think you have to choose what entity "owns" the data and then try to protect it by 'hiring' other people, whereby they can have employment contracts with clauses.

    to be honest though, you need a proper legal entity for it to hold any weight.

    (disclaimer: im not a lawyer, this is just personal opinion)
  6. #4
  7. Plays with fire
    Devshed Novice (500 - 999 posts)

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Barsoom
    Posts
    942
    Rep Power
    97
    If you can afford it, hire an attorney. You have no idea what you don't know until you do.
    “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” -- Horace Mann

    "...all men are created equal." -- US Declaration of Independence
  8. #5
  9. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    11
    Rep Power
    0
    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!
  10. #6
  11. Plays with fire
    Devshed Novice (500 - 999 posts)

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Barsoom
    Posts
    942
    Rep Power
    97
    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.
    “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” -- Horace Mann

    "...all men are created equal." -- US Declaration of Independence

IMN logo majestic logo threadwatch logo seochat tools logo