Thursday, 3 November 2016

Legal steps you must take before outsourcing content creation

custom software development companies
With the growth of the Internet and the need to create steady content, outsourcing has become incredibly common. In fact, [ CITATION Pat16 \l 1033 ] cites research that shows 79 percent of software development companies are embracing content marketing, while [ CITATION Sta14 \l 1033 ] reported that the global market size of outsourced services in 2014 was $104.6 billion dollars.

Being at the top in your market with content is crucial, as the value of great content drives leads and results in more sales. But before you jump to the abysmal of outsourcing content creation, there are a few things you’ll want to ponder, so that you can not only approach it the correct way but also protect you and your business from any negative effects down the road.

Recognize your content needs

In order to recruit great content creators you have to first delineate what type of content you need.
For instance, you could include:
  • Weekly blog posts
  • Social media updates
  • Guest blogging
  • Email marketing
  • Pay-per-click ad copywriting

Finding the specific types of content needed may not appear to be a legal step. However, at the kickoff, these are extremely essential things to ponder, all of which will enable you to sketch both your job advertisement and various aspects of your binding agreement.

Assign copyright

The act of simply compensating someone does not automatically turn over copyright of that content to the end user. Unless you explicitly list the terms of use in your agreement, the content creator maintains ownership of that content. In this case, you only have an implicit license, therefore, you’ll need definite permission to re-purpose any of that content for other stuffs, such as turning a blog post into an e-book or social-media posts.

It’s also essential that you consider safeguarding against the indemnification for images or content that may be the property of others. At the end of the day, you will be accountable if the content published on your site or in your materials is found to break the copyright law.
For text-based copy, using a service such as Copyscape is standard practice. But with image attribution, this is particularly tough, since there’s no good way to test the copyright short of either buying the rights or waiting for an angry copyright act warning from the owner who feels intruded.
Be clever and understand copyright upfront so you can evade any negative consequences.

Explicitly sketch outsourcing requirements.

Be as specific as possible when delineating requirements so that freelancers know your expectations, including benchmarking and measuring triumph or disaster. You may also want to include a SLA that clearly outlines performance details, measurements and standards. 

Cogitate on legal liabilities in your content.

You may need to take further provisions if the content you’ll be outsourcing is subjected to any regulatory requirements. For example, if you’re publishing medical content or financial advice, you may need to include relevant disclaimers or ensure materials produced meet certain standards to protect yourself lawfully.

If the content you publish on your website is such that you could be held legally liable for, be sure your outsourced creators are able to meet any essential requirements.

Preparing in advance for closure.

Ideally, you’ll find in a freelancer a long-term association for your content creation needs. But since turnover is unavoidable, it’s far better to protect yourself from start. Your termination clause is immensely important, as it sets forth the conditions under which the customer may exit the outsourcing association.

The termination clause needs to state the common reasons that give rights to you and your software development company to exit the clause along with the rights of the contractor. It’s also advisable to include both party’s respective privileges upon termination with regards to ongoing privacy and protection here as well.

Put everything in the contract.

Now that you’ve enclosed all your legal bases, document them in a formal written contract that both you and your freelancers will agree on. In most cases, it’s advisable to consult with an actual lawyer to do this. However, you can get started by finding similar contract agreements to work from. 

Take out an insurance policy.

Last, but not the least -- and let’s keep it short and simple -- it’s definitely worth investing in an insurance policy when it comes to defending your legal rights as a content creator and purchaser. At the end of the day, you need to be prepared for any legal complications that could occur from the content you publish -- or, at the very least, be fully aware of who’s liable for anything that may happen.

Though the Internet has distorted the rules and lines of outsourcing somewhat, it’s advisable to stick to guidelines and follow the rules to protect yourself. If you have any doubts, consult a lawyer.

Robles, P. (2016). Patricio Robles. Patricio Robles. Patricio Robles.
Statistica. (2014). Statistica. Statistica.

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