AuthorTopic: Freelance contracts?  (Read 2100 times)

Offline uridicy

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Freelance contracts?

on: September 21, 2007, 01:42:14 am
   Ok, so Ive done a little freelance work here and there and generally people were pretty good about paying me.  Some people gave me a contract to sign others didn't. 
    So I did some work for this guy that owns a new website called zellomesh in July. He said he was really happy with the work and he paid me for it.  But I got this email from paypal today saying he tried to file a complaint and get his money back - from 2 months ago!  Since it had been so long of course they didn't take it back, but he never paid me for some work I did for him a few weeks ago (which he also said he liked). I mean it's one thing if the guy is unhappy with the work and asks for a refund, but he said he really liked it and he'd pay me for it.
 
   Not only that, but after I went and read the complaint from paypal, it said that he told them that they were copywrited characters and he was being sued! Need less to say I was pretty upset. These were some of the little avatar paper doll characters I made:



   Anyway, so I was wondering what you guys do to protect yourself from these kinds of situations. I've heard a lot about contracts, but I don't know what they need to say to protect my rights.  Any of you freelance guru's have any suggestions or examples of what a contract might look like?

Thanks
« Last Edit: September 21, 2007, 01:57:34 am by uridicy »

Offline ndchristie

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Re: Freelance contracts?

Reply #1 on: September 21, 2007, 04:49:54 am
as legality goes, even half a napkin with the words "joe shmoe pay $200 to john doe for character images" will hold up in court as long as it is signed by both parties.

if these are truly original works he can't be in legal danger and neither can you.  He is completely responsible for the money he owes you and if it is over a grand i would pursue legal actions.  anything less though and it may not be worth the trouble.


ways to avoid this :

avoid unknown quantities:

set a fixed price well before you begin as well as a payment method and avoid hourly rates because even logged hours are easy to challenge.
don't work for no-names unless you know them in person - work for a larger company
save records of every conversation, ideally ones easy to prove are real (written signatures - no electronic deals unless it's a huge company)
nag like a bitch


still, at times there's nothing you can do.  freelancing (and self-employment in general) is synonymous with getting stiffed on a few jobs.

the only party that ever neglected to pay me for services was JAMDAT mobile, now a part of EA.  EA refuses to pick up the bill for the JAMDAT work :( but they are paying me handsomely for work I did them this weekend :).
A mistake is a mistake.
The same mistake twice is a bad habit.
The same mistake three or more times is a motif.