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That's the problem, really. Nobody is really sure how it works. A nice
trick is to write a contract that states that the writer retains the
copyright on the work, and that, once the writer's time is paid for, the
writer will sell the contract to the client for $1.
Of course, a REALLY nice trick is getting a client to sign a contract
The problem is, this is a hairy issue whatever way you take it. If a
client doesn't pay you, as a result, can you post the manual on your
website and alert their competitors that it's out there? Probably not,
but I've threatened it. Maybe I could get away with it, but it's not a
real black-and-white issue unless it's actually IN black and white.
I would be really interested to see what a real lawyer has to say about
this. Most of my legal advice has come from a guy I know who has spent a
lot of time in jail and court.
From: Iain Harrison
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
Subject: Re: Client won't pay
Date: Thursday, October 24, 1996 11:18AM
Christopher Theisson writes:
Typically, a contractor in the United States performs "work for
which means that all copyrights involved in any work performed by
worker fall to the hiring company (unless there's a special and
unusual other arrangement).
But I'm not sure that this is true when the contract has been
the hiring company failing to pay the writer.