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wicked357

Conflict of interest or am I ok?

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I am considering dropping a title for the Android OS in apps and selling it for a small fee, now in the process I wanted to make an LLC and have it exclusively released by that company, not just by me. I am also about to start looking for game dev. jobs and I was wondering wouldn't that be a conflict of interest and my chances of getting hired would be considerably decreased? If so, what would be my best options for doing something to the similar? Also I don't plan on just releasing one title on this LLC I plan on doing several over my entire lifetime, not just for Android either.

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I do all kinds of side development and it's never been an issue for me. Just be clear when you interview that you do stuff on the side, and make damn sure it won't interfere with the quality of your work for your regular job.

One thing to be careful about is many places will try and demand that anything you do on your own time become their intellectual property; you can usually negotiate that away if you are sufficiently appealing for the position in question, and have a good track record.

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Moved to The Business and Law.

I don't think there's a problem since you created the app before you started the job, and the company's sole business is that app you created before starting.
But you might need to inform the company so as to make sure they know you created it prior to beginning employment with them.

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As ApochPiQ mentioned some companies will require that anything you create on your own time is their intellectual property. I worked for a company that required this and it was one of the reasons why I eventually left there. So, yes, be careful.

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I'm going to stress the point the other guys here have made, and while i dont work in the industry, i do have a lot of input into the contracts that the guys that we have work under.

IP rights is an important element of any contract, and a great number of production houses will include the IP clause along the lines of "Any materials that you produce while in the employ of the organisation is the exclusive and non-tranferable ownership of the organisation." which can, and has in the past, extended to your personal time.

A different clause "Any materials that you produce in the execution of your duties with the organisation is the exclusive and non-tranferable ownership of the organisation" is restricting their ownership to anything you produce in the office, or during time that you have been paid for by the organisation.

Some companies also include clauses that restrict your ability to have secondary occupations and some of these can be problematic for programmers as if you make profit off the side projects, this could be interpretted as a secondary occupation depending on the volume of income.

That said, different states and countries have different statutes for this kind of thing, while in Australia theres a lot of leeway given to 'side projects' and the 'hobbist' status of work and activities, this might not be the same as in the US, and then again, might be different in the different states.

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Some companies do not allow exceptions. The generic forms always say they can authorize exceptions, often requiring a VP of the company to grant them, but exceptions are rare.

The easiest and best solution is:

* Talk to a lawyer on your own. Ask them to help.



The next easiest and next best solution is:

* Part of the employment contract will have a page asking you to list your inventions and stuff you have worked on. FILL IT OUT. Include every project you have worked on, and every idea you have ever thought about working on. If this extends to two or three or more pages, do it.

* Do not work on your project again until:
* * either you have left the company,
* * or you have a written agreement (reviewed by your lawyer) signed by a legally-binding executive or legal department, where the company renounces all claims to your project.


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Quote:
Original post by ApochPiQ
I do all kinds of side development and it's never been an issue for me. Just be clear when you interview that you do stuff on the side, and make damn sure it won't interfere with the quality of your work for your regular job.

One thing to be careful about is many places will try and demand that anything you do on your own time become their intellectual property; you can usually negotiate that away if you are sufficiently appealing for the position in question, and have a good track record.
Definitely be clear up front. Lots of contracts have this junk in by default and it can be argued, but if you actually have something concrete you're working on, you want them to know it's a serious thing that needs agreeing on, not some hobby project you dream of selling. You could even provide your own clause to the contract stating explicitly that they have no claim to work you do for other companies. And if they have a non-compete clause, make sure it doesn't apply to your own LLC [wink]

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I'd be surprised if a software dev company doesn't ask you about your personal projects up front during the hiring stage.

Like most people here, I have had no problem working on personal projects. In fact, I'd bet that if a potential employee doesn't code at all in their spare time, then an employer might think of them as a fake / an uninspired moron.

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Lots of good advice here, but just be prepared to stop working on your side projects if the company that eventually hires you does not allow moonlighting. Especially if you are tasked to create mobile games. Every developer has different opinions on this topic, so it would be a good idea to ask in your interviews about their policy for your own information.

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Quote:
Original post by tabyIn fact, I'd bet that if a potential employee doesn't code at all in their spare time, then an employer might think of them as a fake / an uninspired moron.
Unlikely and borderline offensive. Most of the places I worked, people either don't code in the spare time, or they used to but years of long hours mean they relish a chance to have a life outside work. Professional interest in your field is important - reading blogs, books, etc, but getting your hands dirty outside work doesn't prove anything except you need to get ore sleep [wink]

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