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Work for Hire Legal Forms

Used when hiring an individual to create a copyrighted while the employer will retain all rights in the work.

Popular - Work for Hire Agreements for use when hiring an individual to create a copyrighted work (such as an illustration or written text) but the employer will retain the copyright in the work. Included are agreements for a composer, editor, illustrator, musician, photographer, programmer and a writer.

The Ins and Outs of a Work-for-Hire Agreement

To many people, especially those of us most used to a traditional 9-to-5 job, the “work for hire” agreement sounds like Greek. But it’s practically a way of life for an entirely different set of workers who rely on individual projects rather than singular employment in order to generate their income. And if you run a business yourself, there’s a good chance you’re going to need to use a work-for-hire agreement to add on some temporary help.

In short, no matter what your situation, there’s a good chance you’ll come across a work-for-hire agreement in your lifetime. And that’s why it’s so important to know the ins and outs of such an agreement – both so that nothing catches you off guard and so that you don’t see problems where there aren’t any. Here’s a brief guide to work-for-hire agreements for you to use as a reference.

Authorship or Creatorship

The first thing to know from the “employee” or “worker’s” perspective is that a work for hire agreement generally means that you will not be credited for the work you’re doing. For example, if you sign a “work for hire” agreement in order to ghost write someone’s autobiography<, you’re going to find that you’re not credited for your work, and your authorship is not even recognized as a matter of legality. This authorizes the person who purchased the work from you to collect all the royalties and income the work generates without actually having to pay you any of it.

Sound like a bum deal? Well, you agreed to it if you signed a work for hire agreement initially. It’s that simple; and, in fact, it’s ideal for people who would actually prefer a flat fee up front than a promise of royalties in the future somewhere. So keep in mind that if you see a work-for-hire agreement or “WFH” for short, you’re likely signing authorship identification over to the person who’s hiring you – and that’s standard practice.

Wait – Isn’t the Author Entitled?

When people hear about the information contained in the preceding section, they usually express a little bit of shock. “But wait – don’t I deserve credit for what I create? I am, after all, the author!”

The key to a work-for-hire agreement is that you are essentially signing over authorship of the work in question, as well. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that no matter what you sign, you’re entitled to royalties because you wrote the original words or crafted the original designs. Instead, understand what you’re getting yourself into when you sign a work-for-hire agreement.


Of course, a work-for-hire agreement comes with certain benefits as well – otherwise no one would ever sign them. These benefits can include the contracted payment (upfront) of the work in question, which is something that appeals to many writers and artists who need a more steady paycheck in order to pay the bills. But don’t be afraid to read through your next WFH and see if you like all of the provisions it contains.

Three Potential Agreements to Use When Hiring Work Online

For people who have been using the Internet a long time, it’s an exciting time. Buying, selling, investing, working, hiring – all of interactions that used to happen only in office buildings are now processes that can be carried out online.

But for people who are newer to the Internet’s potential, the idea of hiring someone to work via the Internet can be a difficult pill to swallow. To assuage that anxiety – and to help protect even the most seasoned of Internet users – there are a number of agreements that you can use with people you work with online. Here are three potential agreements you’ll want to consider in your future Internet endeavors:

Work-for-Hire: the work-for-hire agreement has been around a long time – even longer than the Internet. But its uses on the Internet are not especially complicated; many work-for-hire agreements simply stipulate that any Internet workers working in a different state agree to abide by your home state’s laws. You can use this type of agreement for just about any type of contractor; illustrators, graphic designers, writers, editors, musicians all fall under the umbrella of the work-for-hire agreement. And what’s additionally great about these contracts is that you can find contracts customized specifically to the type of work you’re hiring for.

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA): One of the main worries many employers have when working with online employees is that they’ll have to share some of their sensitive information via the Internet. While it’s easy to ensure that information is transmitted securely, it’s not so easy to be sure that the person on the other end is trustworthy at first. That’s the value of an NDA: it helps you to ensure that any trade secrets or confidential information you share as a result of working on a project with an Internet-based contractor will stay secure.

It’s common practice for businesses that work with a lot of online labor to use an NDA at the beginning of their relationship with a new contractor – it wouldn’t be a bad idea for your company to also consider this form as a part of your standard practice.

Work Order: Having a work order in hand to describe a certain project’s scope to your Internet-based contractor is a good idea to establish exactly what the project entails in the first place. A work order is a good way to put this kind of information in writing before a project even begins, thus ensuring that you have some sort of written expectation going into the project. This might not be necessary every time you work with a specific contractor, of course, but it can represent a great way to keep your interests secure for the first times you add work online with a new contractor.

Should you consider using all three of these forms when hiring online? Ultimately, that decision is up to you. But if you’ll feel more comfortable in using the Internet as a medium to hire contractors as a result of these forms, they stand to help your business in major ways.

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