how do i keep someone from stealing my whole project, if they help work on it and it becomes fairly big?
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Posted 15 April 2012 - 03:02 AM
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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:17 AM
The best solution is probably find someone you know you can trust, that doesn't walk away with your idea. I don't think that you can fully stop someone from stealing your idea should it happen.
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Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:36 PM
The cost of a business lawyer is relatively cheap (in my area it is$150/hr or so for this type of work) which is tiny compared to the losses you would sustain if your stuff became the 'next big thing' and was stolen. Setting everything up to be legally protected will run a few hundred dollars, but serves as a very valuable insurance policy if you are serious about developing your products.
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Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:11 AM
What you are looking for is normally covered under a combination of an NDA and employment contract. If you are planning on doing any real work with these people and are worried that you have the next big idea then you'll want to enter into a legally binding contract with them. Most employment contract will contain a work for hire agreement that states that anything the employee does is owned by company and not the employee, which ensures anything produced while working on the project is owned by you.
The contract should clearly state what you are expecting from the other person and what they are getting in return.
Keeping files on the different projects being worked on is also import, as if issue goes to litigation you'll have to prove that a concept someone stole from you was something they were involved inn while they were under contract.
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Posted 22 April 2012 - 04:07 PM
To avoid this you'll want to ensure that any agreement you enter into has an IP control provision. This could be a work for hire, assignment, or rights management provision that limits how the other party can exploit the work both prior to or after the release.
You'll need to be careful with non-compete provisions, as excessively broad non-competes are invalid in most jurisdictions. In fact non-competes in general are invalid in many states, so it's important that your contract is governed under a jurisdiction that recognizes this constraint.
Finally, it's important to specify in detail what constitutes confidential information. The most problematic aspect of upholding an NDA is the fact that the other party may be unaware of what is confidential versus what isn't, so you need to make it clear in the agreement itself that correspondences relating to ideas concerning the game's production, both oral and written, are confidential and the disclosure of those ideas will lead to economic harm.
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Posted 23 April 2012 - 07:47 AM
Consider it from their point of view too - who is going to help you with your "idea", if that means signing something that means you can sue them if you later decide any work they do in future has any similarity to your ideas?
I think it's also worth asking yourself if it's worth worrying about, if you're talking about mere "ideas", and not the tangible work (which is worth worrying about).