Games have evolved from the simplicity of Pong to the complex, 18 quintillion planet universe of No Man’s Sky. Along with this massive expansion, development teams have evolved, too. While the original idea of any app or game is usually attributed to a stroke of genius from one person, it is understood that a team of individuals produces these massive games. When a developer comes up with a game idea, it is critical that their attention is focused on the production of the game, rather than on worrying about their competitors stealing ideas or their team members running off with innovative concepts.
Using a work-for-hire agreement combats just that. Under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, the author of any creative work has the direct right to that work. With the use of a work-for-hire contract, the work’s ownership is immediately passed from the direct author to his or her employer.
Difference Between Freelance and Work-For-Hire
Developers will often hire artists or authors to create the necessary works for their apps, including seamless coding along with desired visuals and sound. In the past, freelance artists have been used to create works for developers, in the process giving the developer licensing rights for the specific art used. This gave the artists rights to their work to prevent it from being altered without consent.
There has been a shift away from this type of work. While freelance artists are still commonly used, they are often required to sign work-for-hire contracts to give more freedom to the developers. This allows the developers to have complete control over all artistic freedom with the artist’s specific contracted work. However, if a non-freelance, full time employee is also under a work-for-hire contract, then his or her work is always under the full rights of the employer during the employee’s period of work.
Does Work-For-Hire Mean No Accreditation?
Hiring employees as work-for-hire does not mean that the company can’t still choose to credit the authors of certain works to their respective creators. This is up to the company’s discretion and is often agreed upon prior to the employee beginning work. For example, anything produced by Microsoft is always accredited to Microsoft Corporation. In contrast, Adobe Systems generally credits lead software inventors at the loading screen of any of their products.
Why Choose Work-For-Hire
In the end, work-for-hire contracts allow a free-flowing exchange of ideas without the fear of keeping any creative work behind closed doors. When the employees under a developer are allowed to share their ideas, everyone is able to produce their best work without fear of it being taken to another company. This open-minded approach suits the game developing community well, since the multi-faceted industry requires creativity and innovation at every corner.
Mobile Game Attorneys
Developers invest their time and money into producing their mobile games; it is necessary to ensure that their work isn’t later undermined because of minor contractual mistakes. To clarify what type of employment best suits your developing team’s needs, contact one of our Mobile Game Attorneys at 855-473-8474.