Articles

Chad Rutkowski Looks at Software Development as a Work for Hire Issue

Articles / May 18, 2016

Partner Chad Rutkowski authored an article published in the April 26, 2016, issue of The Licensing Journal. The article, “Can Software Be Created as a Work for Hire?” examines the issue of establishing copyright ownership of a software program created by an independent contractor.

Rutkowski reviews a number of relevant cases and finds that “the decisions that have found that software does qualify [as a work for hire] have done so in dicta, and no Circuit Court decision has found definitively that software meets one of nine work-for-hire categories.” He notes, however, that there is good reason to take a “belts and suspenders” approach to drafting and include “both work for hire language and express assignment language. You never know how and when a court might enforce it [in light of the decisions handed down to date].”

Rutkowski was invited to include his article in The Licensing Journal after the editor read a previous version on the firm’s Copyright, Content, and Platforms blog.

Read the article.

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