This is my out-of-the-box developer contract forked from Andy Clarke's "Contract Killer" and adjusted to address gray areas surrounding device agnosticism, design, content, and copyright.
Between me [company name] and you [customer name]
I try my best to fulfill your needs and meet your expectations, but it's useful to have things written down so we both know what's what, who should do what and when, and what happens if something goes wrong.
This contract intentionally avoids legalese, long passages, or unreadable text, because we both want what's best for both parties without tricks, pitfalls, loopholes, or drama.
So, in short:
I ([company name]), located at [company address], am commissioning you ([customer name]), located at [customer address], to [write an article for LibUX] for the estimated total price of [total] as outlined in our previous correspondence.
What do both parties agree to do?
You: You have the authority to enter into this contract on behalf of yourself, your company, or your organization. You will make sure I have everything I need to complete the content piece as and when and in the format I need. You will consider feedback and make changes you agree to in a timely manner. You will endeavor to meet every deadline that is set. You agree to maintain the confidentiality of information about myself or business I may furnish or provide access to.
Me: I have the experience and ability to do everything we have agreed and I will do it all in a professional and timely manner. I will review your work, provide feedback and approval in a timely manner. Deadlines work two ways, so I will also be bound by dates we agree to. I agree to maintain the confidentiality of everything you give me.
You acknowledge that the content you provide in whatever format is your own work. Quotes, paraphrases, code, and all references must be appropriately and accurately attributed.
Changes and revisions
I don't want to limit your ability to change your mind, change-up the piece, or maybe after a bout of inspiration choose to go in an entirely new direction. Before we even start, I put a lot of effort in the early process of making sure you and I are on the same page, that I understand your interests and needs, what the content should communicate, and how its format will help you meet your goals as well as meet mine. The price at the beginning of this contract is an honorarium a single item of content, but sometimes as you watch a project come to life you find new inspiration. Maybe we want to turn it into a series. I am happy to be flexible to that.
Part of this back-and-forth allows for changes here and there - a change to wording, swap-in a different graphic, and so on. You reserve the right, however, to determine that a particular change or revision is substantial enough to warrant a separate estimate or even cancel this contract.
I can’t guarantee that my work will be error-free, so I can’t be liable to you or any third-party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings, or other incidental, consequential, or special damages, even if you have advised me of them. Finally, if any provision of this contract shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this contract and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.
First, you guarantee that all elements of text, images or other artwork you provide are either owned by you or that you have permission to use them.
Then, when your final payment has cleared, copyright will be automatically assigned as follows:
You reserve ownership of the content - visual, audio, and written - that you created for this project. I am not required to keep a copy of original files or any revisions made prior to the version that was published, so you should keep them somewhere safe. You own all elements of text, images, and data you provide, unless someone else owns them.
I reserve the right and distinction to publish your content first. If you like to publish it elsewhere, you agree to credit LibUX and link -- when appropriate -- to the original. Should you choose to release your copyright by any means, such as through Creative Commons, you must maintain an attribution provision for others who would use your work. Otherwise, have at it, and thank you!
I love to show off work and share what I have learned with others, so I reserve the right, with your permission, to display and link to your content as part of the LibUX portfolio, and to speak or write about my part in the project on websites, in magazines, articles, and in books.
You understand how important it for a small business that invoices are paid promptly. As I am also sure you will want to stay friends, you and I agree to stick tight to the following payment schedule.
Wait, where’s all the horrible small print?
Just like a parking ticket, you can’t transfer this contract to anyone else without my permission. This contract stays in place and need not be renewed. If for some reason one part of this contract becomes invalid or unenforceable, the remaining parts of it remain in place.
Although the language is simple, the intentions are serious and this contract is a legal document.
The dotted line
Signed by and on behalf of [company name] Signed by and on behalf of [customer name] Date [date]
Everyone should sign above and keep a copy for their records.