If you outsource blog content development (or any content development for that point), you have a variety of options from Fiverr to oDesk to Craiglist and everything in between. Often, these arrangements are pretty simple and it’s very unlikely anything will ever happen that would cause you or the contractor to litigate.
If you run a business that has a good amount of revenue and you outsource content development, you might need to enter into longer-term arrangements with your blog contractors. In that case, here are some things you should consider in order to minizethe chances of litigation.
Ownership of content
Ideally, when negotiating a contract for outsourced content, to make sure the contract states that you own the intellectual property behind it. This includes not only the content itself but any related code and designs. If this provision is missing in the contract, your contractor has a good argument that she owns the content.
Sometimes, you might not get this in a contract. Instead, the contract might state that you have a license to use the content for the purpose it was created. In that case, make it clear who owns certain rights to the content. For your purposes, make it clear that you own all the rights necessary to use the content in any way that is necessary.
If the contract contains a “residual clause,” try to negotiate to remove it. A “residual clause” gives the contractor the right to resuse her content. Obviously, if this happens, this might divert traffic from your site or otherwise be detrimental to your business. Instead, try to negotiate for a provision where the contractor assigns your company the copyright in the content created. This means the contractor gives you her copyright for the content. You can negotiate creatively for how the rights are assigned. For example, you might negotiate for a temporary grant of copyright or within a certain geographic area or use.
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Get warranties that, among other things, assures you that the contractor is responsible for getting copyright licenses for any third-party works she uses. Also include a warranty that the contractor will indemnify you if another party brings a claim against you.
Include a provision that states the contractor will keep any trade secrets confidential.
Right to Terminate Agreement
Include a provision that states you have the right to terminate the contract at any time.
Make sure you define the scope of the contractor’s work and what happens in case the work goes out of scope.