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This topic contains 17 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  DeeK 12 years, 6 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #3860

    RonanHayes
    Participant

    Does anyone have sample contracts I could use and alter to use with some more artists?

    Preferably short term contracts that are for a per object basis. I want them to be very very exact. But dont mind spending the time altering existing ones, once the usual hard part is done.

    Also any NDA’s? Best be safe about it :D

    Cheers
    Ronan

  • #18349

    peter_b
    Participant

    Are nda’s and contracts which someone has drawn up themselves legally binding?

    What i mean is, do you not have to sign in the presences of a solictor or peace commissioner. dunno? just wondered.

    coz often contract have at the bottom of them, the name of the solictor or group which drew up the contract.

  • #18350

    Nooptical
    Participant

    I am not anyway saavy about this kind of thing, but:

    You’re paying them per model, yes?
    So therefore isn’t each model a freelance project, qouted seperately based on the estimated work involved for that object?

    So why do you need to contract them? Unless you are actually employing them for a period of time and paying them by the hour/or a salary?

    Again, I’m not up on this type of thing, but thats the way it seems to me! :)

  • #18352

    peter_b
    Participant

    contract is probably needed for the model work, i would say.

    otherwise the modeler\artistic might claim artistic rights on the project when its put into your game. I.e. you needed it to get them to sign over all rights to the art so its your property.

    right? that would be my take but i know nothing about legal stuff.

  • #18353

    RonanHayes
    Participant

    Its a 3month Modelling contract, I need to protect the code, the software and the other artwork involved. I also need to restrict the ability to part-take in WW2 projects while in development with mine, and sharing of concepts ideas and other elements from my project.

    Its best to be exact, and to have a solid legally binding contract to go by.

    A contract is simply a legally binding document. It doesnt need a solicitor to draw it up. It just needs to outline exactly what it involves. (Provided it doesnt break the law the contract will be legally binding, once both parties sign)

  • #18354

    Nooptical
    Participant

    Never thought of that, but that would just be a standard
    “Any work created by [artist] for use on [project] shall be the sole property and copyright of [company] and can not be used/changed without express permission from [company]” :p

    Or something like that…..where is Steph when you need him!!

  • #18355

    peter_b
    Participant

    yeah but i reckon its hard to prove in court the following.

    contractor A works on project X for 6 months developing models for a WW1 game.

    then contractor A works on a project Y for 6 months developing models for a WW2 game.

    Is it not logical that A will bring ideas from project1 into project 2? But practically impossible to prove? i dunno maybe im explaining this poorly, but if it was possible im sure a solicator will phrase it better.

  • #18357

    RonanHayes
    Participant

    Nothing in the contract is all that logical, I mean I have worked with most of these guys for the past 4 years. if they were going to screw me over they would have done it by now.

    Im just covering all angles. The last thing I want is modeller B coming to me saying my Model is in Project Y, you didnt get permission to sell it to that Project. If I have it in the contract, it covers me, it covers artist B, and artist A who was working on that project would have to explain why? I would check the files in question against the log files from our repository and question why was A checking out such a file.

    I learnt this the hard way in college when I spent 1000+ euro on artwork that was neither delivered in the means I wanted, nor was it of acceptable quality. But since the contract was so open ended, I had to grin and bear it and chalk it up to experience.

    If its in the contract it doesnt mean it wont happen, but at least Im covered. As with the rest of the team.

  • #18358

    peter_b
    Participant

    no i didnt mean A would bring work from the previous project. Thats theft and an nda covers it.

    what i mean is A bring’s ideas they saw on one project to another. but i guess thats hard to protect against.

    similar things could be said about movies\books

  • #18361

    RonanHayes
    Participant

    Idea’s cannot be protected against, but content, code, art etc is what I want to protect against, and having a clause in the contract stating they cannot work on projects that would be a conflict of interests is the easiest way to prevent Ideas from reaching competitors.

    I just dont want a situation of ones artists 6months hard work ending up on turbosquid for $50

  • #18362

    peter_b
    Participant

    haha. true true..
    could always have them killed.. im joking. or am i.

  • #18367

    kyotokid
    Keymaster

    I knew I had a link somewhere:

    This *may* be of some use

    http://contracts.onecle.com/

    [edit: hmm, not sure]

  • #18368

    peter_b
    Participant

    good link.

  • #18373

    RonanHayes
    Participant

    Went through there, a very very hard read :(

    I found 2 contracts on Garage Games, that I am currently changing.

  • #18378

    kyotokid
    Keymaster

    Went through there, a very very hard read :(

    I found 2 contracts on Garage Games, that I am currently changing. [/quote:de8d2fddc3]

    Sweet!, I liked the look of it when I first saw it (I like free stuff) but it seemed a bit heavy. Glad you got something

  • #18392

    Steph
    Participant

    Stop panicking, I’m here – for a short while anyway (absolutely burried up to my ears at the moment, so it doesn’t help).

    You want standard work-for-hire contracts, but the one thing you absolutely must make sure is that they include an assignment clause, e.g. “the contractee hereby assigns all his rights in the work to the contractor in consideration of the sum of …” (to ensure the IP created is yours and your only to use/license/etc. , once you have paid the agreed sum/fee to the creator).

    This is particularly useful as legal provisions relating to who owns commissioned work differs for designs and copyrights (which are different types of IPRs), and -to make matters worse- these yet again differs depending upon jurisdictions (e.g. different first owner according to whether the contractee is in the US, France or the UK, etc.).

    By way of example, you can’t prevent someone from re-using the skills that they have acquired in modelling a WWII Thompson SMG for you, for modelling a WWII Thompson SMG for someone else. But you can prevent them from selling the SMG model (in whichever form and, particularly, code or whichever expression it takes, e.g. “Thompson.3ds” ) that they have made for you.

    NDA is useful only insofar as contractees will be exposed to your trade secrets, which are anything (designs/docs/code/etc.) which they may want to sell/use after their contractual collaboration ends, e.g. your game’s unique selling point, some or all of your game’s technology, etc.

    Ideally, model your contract & get it checked by a professional (a sollicitor, rather than a patent & trademark agent – the sollicitor asks ‘us’ for advice in relation to the IP provisions if he/she needs to – is the way this works habitually). Small money compared to what it’ll cost you to put a wrong right in Court ;)

  • #18394

    RonanHayes
    Participant

    This is the contract I have been working with

    http://www.garagegames.com/index.php?sec=mg&mod=resource&page=view&qid=5796

    and here is another.

    http://www.gag.org/res/pdfs/loa.pdf

    Using a mix of these at the moment. I think with both of these I am fairly secure.

  • #18643

    DeeK
    Participant

    Ronan, I would steer clear of using US contracts if you are dealing with people in Ireland under Irish law. Steph is spot on in his advice.

    The Irish statute dealing with copyright requires there to be a transfer in writing from the creator of a work for copyright to transfer, one of the exceptions being for employees where the Act says that it is the employer that is the copyright owner. Simply having an understanding that the commissioning company will own the code does not work.

    This causes a lot of problems in reality. When you start investigating purported title to code for a VC, a floatation or investment, as I often have to do, you often come across gaps where people used the wrong contract wording, or had none at all. In one instance this meant a reduction in price, in another the company had to request the developer to sign a contract after the fact, which was costly and didnt have a lot of the assurances and terms that the company and its investor would have wanted. Best to get a contract in place at the beginning when you still have bargaining power, and to get the wording right. Its fairly risky cutting and pasting from stuff on the internet if you dont know what you are doing.

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