Copyright & Other Legal Issues5:02 with Pasan Premaratne
To wrap up the sections on our contract, let’s go over few more issues like copyright, authorization and content.
The next section in our contract should cover 0:00 the important issue of copyright. 0:03 For freelance designers in creative fields, 0:05 there are lots of concerns, such as the type of medium 0:07 or product where the finished work will be used, 0:10 the category of use, geographic location, and more. 0:13 But for web freelancers, the most important issues are 0:17 the transfer of ownership of the final work 0:20 and all the assets involved 0:22 while you retain the rights to display the work 0:24 for advertising and promotional purposes. 0:26 Clients may not be as aware as you are about copyright matters. 0:29 Horror stories on the web of freelancers getting in trouble 0:32 for clients handing over assets they have no rights to use, 0:36 shows that you should be putting an effort 0:39 to protect yourself against any simple copyright violations. 0:41 Under your copyright section, include a provision 0:46 with language similar to what follows. 0:48 "You, the client, guarantee that any assets 0:50 "such as text, graphics, photos, designs, trademarks, 0:54 "or any other artwork provided for use in the project 0:57 belong to you, or that you have the permission to use them." 1:01 Now, I'm not a lawyer, so if you want this 1:04 in perfect legal terms, it's best to consult one. 1:06 But that should cover the gist of what we're trying to get across. 1:10 This way, if someone files a copyright violation 1:13 when the project goes live, you're not the one in trouble. 1:16 In this section, you'll also want to mention 1:19 how copyright is assigned regarding the project you are about to embark on. 1:21 Standard clauses inform the client that upon the final payment, 1:26 the client owns all the graphics and other visual elements 1:29 created for the project. 1:32 Mention that all originals will be handed over to the client. 1:34 I've seen clauses that indicate that the client 1:38 is responsible for those files 1:40 because the freelancer is not expected to hold onto them 1:42 on completion of the project. 1:44 The client also owns the text content, photographs, 1:47 and any other data provided unless it was licensed from a third party. 1:50 However, you, the freelancer, will own 1:54 any of the markup, CSS, and any code produced, 1:56 and you are licensing it to the client for use. 2:00 Those are pretty much the basic industry-standard methods 2:03 of solving copyright issues. 2:06 But that's not all that's left, 2:08 and I've lumped it all into one section, called Legal Stuff, 2:10 because there's no real common theme here. 2:13 So let's go over a few different things. 2:15 First, there's authorization. 2:17 There are clients out there who think that, because they are hiring you 2:20 to work on a project, that you are essentially their employee. 2:22 This is hardly the case. 2:25 Indicate to the client that they are contracting with you 2:27 to provide a service. 2:29 You are thereby authorized to provide these services 2:31 and can access the resources necessary to do so. 2:34 You might also want to indicate 2:37 that because the client is hiring you as an independent contractor 2:39 they can't control where, how, and when you work. 2:41 As odd as that sounds, it can be a problem. 2:45 Then there's content. 2:48 You'll want to indicate who will provide the content, 2:50 whether it's the client, you, or someone else's responsibility. 2:52 Since a lack of content can hold you back on your work, 2:57 you should also indicate if there are any penalties 3:00 for not receiving the content on time. 3:02 Now, all the good and important legal stuff should go here as well. 3:05 Do your best to protect yourself. 3:08 Here are a few examples clauses from other contracts: 3:11 "We can't guarantee that the functions contained 3:14 "in any web page templates 3:16 "or in a completed web site will always be error-free, 3:19 "and so we can't be liable to you or any third party 3:22 "for damages, including lost profits, 3:25 "lost savings, or other incidental, consequential, or special damages 3:27 "arising from out of the operation of or inability to 3:31 "operate this web site and any other web pages, 3:34 even if you have advised us of the possibilities of such damages." 3:37 Now that is from Andy Clarke's Killer Contract, 3:41 which I'll provide in the links below. 3:44 You might also want to say that if the client 3:46 tries to update the site themselves 3:48 or hires another person to work on the site 3:51 who then breaks the stuff, 3:53 you're not responsible for these damages. 3:55 You could fix it, but it will cost more. 3:57 Finally, state the jurisdiction where any legal action 4:00 related to the relationship and project should be filed. 4:03 You could look across different templates across the web 4:06 for this language, but it's quite important to take the time 4:09 to understand it, or if you don't care for it, 4:12 at the very least get a lawyer to put something together for you. 4:14 Take some time and familiarize yourself with contracts. 4:17 Draft up a few templates that you can 4:21 quickly modify and send to get started on a project. 4:23 As I mentioned earlier, the level of detail you want 4:27 to go into with your contracts really depends on the clients 4:29 and the type of project, so have different templates ready. 4:32 Start with a short template, a few paragraphs long, 4:35 that covers the essential topics. 4:39 You can send this one over to small clients 4:41 or ones that you have longstanding relationships with. 4:43 Build your way up to the most thorough contract you would like to have 4:46 that serves as a great baseline for long and extensive projects. 4:50 Now, as you gain experience, you can modify your contracts 4:54 to reflect your needs best. 4:57 There's just a few things left before we wrap this up. 4:59
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