Developer Contract and Intellectual Property

Hi Guys,

Any server owners out there ask developers to sign a contract before working on their custom code?

I’m getting to a stage now where it would be sensible to protect the intellectual property of the game mode I’m working on before hiring any new devs.

I just wondered what you guys do in this scenario. One developer mentioned that he digitally ‘signed’ a document/contract before working on someones server but doesn’t have a copy any more to show me.

Cheers!

If you have the means to legally enforce a contract with a developer that is likely outside of your country (or even in your country), then you are in the wrong business…

So what, just don’t even bother trying to protect your ideas?

Anyone else take this seriously? I find it hard to believe you would just make an agreement with the developer on Steam chat…

Unless you guys are fine sending each other NDA with SSN or Passport (United States) I doubt you’ll want to take the “corporate” legal way.

Just license all your shit lol?

What purpose does a contract serve if you are not going to be able to enforce it?

Suppose I did work for you, and in the end you upset me, so I took that work and used it on my server. How would you subject me to due punishment? Hire a lawyer, court fees, travel, time away from work, etc.? You don’t just get to throw a document at someone and get paid because they didn’t follow the rules.

Just hire someone you trust?

The likelihood of being able to punish someone for breaking the contract that lives in another country is very slim. I personally choose for developers to have their own server and just transfer the files onto the main server when they are finished - protecting the addons I have paid for being leaked under my name.

Protect your ideas by only asking people you trust to help out. The simple reality is that it takes massive amounts of time and money to enforce a contract between two people from separate countries - or even inside your country but in another region.

There is no way to realistically enforce a contract for something as low level and insignificant as Garrysmod scripts and subsequently trying to write a binding contract is pointless.