Are you a videogame developer heading out on your own? Maybe an ex-THQ employee hitting the streets? In that case, our Insights and Opinions article this Friday afternoon might be worth a read. Steve Goldstein of Stubbs Alderton & Markiles LLP covers the world of "work for hire" in the videogame industry.
There was a time in console and PC game development when developers could enter a publishing agreement and retain the rights to the IP they created. With increasing market pressure, downward sales and pervasive aversion to risk by publishers, those days are long over unless you are one of a very select group of incredibly successful independent developers. As such, almost any type of development deal which involves a publisher financing the lion's share of a game will be a "work made for hire"in which the publisher will own all right, title and interest in the game being developed, regardless of whether the game was the original idea of the developer. Even though the industry standard is for developers to give up the rights on the games they work on, there are many ways that developers can protect themselves so they can get the most out of a work-for-hire agreement. The following is a list of suggestions and tips to keep as much as you can when dealing with a work-for-hire negotiation. (More...)
Read the rest of Navigating the Waters of Work for Hire.