Privacy on the Go was published by California’s Attorney General in January 2013. It offers the AG’s privacy practice recommendations for participants at all levels of the mobile ecosystem.
Privacy on the Go begins with a message from the AG. Part of that message explains why the publication was produced (emphasis added).
The world has gone mobile. Today, 85 percent of American adults own a cell phone and over half of them use their phones to access the Internet. The mobile app marketplace is also booming with more than 1,600 new mobile apps being introduced every day. These apps allow us to do everything from streaming movies to hailing a cab to viewing our own X-ray and ultrasound images.
I have written, on several occasions, about the importance of assigning copyrights (and other intellectual property rights) when work is done by an independent contractor. (See, e.g., Independent Contractors: How to Assign Copyrights.) Sometimes, however – as suggested in a comment to What is a Derivative Work, and Why should I Care? – it is appropriate not to assign all rights.
Many startups have software developed offshore to save money. There is good reason to be concerned, however, about loss of money or, even worse, loss of intellectual property when a developer is located half-way around the world. This post discusses ways to minimize those concerns.
I recommend the following:
- Ensure that the agreement with your overseas developer assigns all rights to the software (including all intellectual property rights) to you.
- Don’t send your “family jewels” offshore. For any portion of the development that requires disclosure of your most important trade secrets, use a local developer.
- Time deliverables and payments such that you never will be too severely financially exposed. If your relationship with the developer sours, you can go somewhere else without a catastrophic financial loss.
If you take care of these three points properly, everything else should be pretty routine.
Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law +1 510 547-0545 dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.