Monday, March 31, 2008

Beware Contracts & Agreements

Just another reminder to ALWAYS read any contracts you're asked to sign. Last week I had a client, one I have worked with for over a year now, tell me, "We need you to sign a NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT." Meaning, basically, that I do not discuss the project with anyone. Because of the nature of the project I had no problem with agreeing to this.___But once I got home and looked at the contract I first realized it was five pages long, which in my experience is awfully long for a NON-DISCLOSURE. This sent up a warning flag. I read through the contract and had my suspicions justified when in the VERY LAST section I discovered the lovely old WORK FOR HIRE buried deep within all the legal mumbo-jumbo. I contacted the client and told them, politely but in no uncertain terms, first, what they had given me was not a NON-DISCLOSURE as they had made clear that it was and if signing a WORK FOR HIRE was the only way we could work together, then I would not be able to work with them. Surprisingly, the client did not deny the WORK FOR HIRE but said, "Yeah, I thought that was excessive, too."___ They sent me a NON-DISCLOSURE form that afternoon.___I am glad I will still be working for this client but it is obvious to me that if I had not caught that WORK FOR HIRE buried in that first contract, they would not have shared that on their own.___ So just be careful what you sign


Tom R said...

Great advice, Bucky! Way to bust that guy!

L. C. Burger said...

Thanks, Tom. Oh, by the way, was a gal.