Suddenly, your consultant or independent contractor may be entitled to minimum wage, overtime, tax refunds, penalties, and interest, rather than the fixed fees you originally paid them for their contribution to your creative project. California also requires employers to register with ESD within fifteen days of paying more than $100 in wages, maintain workers` compensation and unemployment insurance, and issue certain notifications for their employees. While the job creation for major movie studios or record companies is not surprising, the growth of the independent market and the use of standard contracts guaranteed online for a fraction of the cost of hiring a lawyer has exacerbated this problem. Under copyright law, there are long-term differences between “works made for rental” and transferred works that relate to rights in the work after a few years, so the assignment solution is not perfect. But it`s probably better than accidentally provoking your independent contractor relationship to return to employment under California law. For example, Microsoft has hired many programmers to develop the Windows operating system, which is simply credited to Microsoft Corporation. In contrast, Adobe Systems lists many Photoshop developers in its credits. In both cases, the software is the property of the employer company. In both cases, the actual creators have moral rights.
Similarly, newspapers regularly write press articles written by their employees, and publishers award authors and illustrators who produce comics with characters like Batman or Spider-Man, but publishers own the copyright to the work. However, articles published in scientific journals or works produced by freelancers for journals are generally not works created as a rental work, which is why it is common for the publisher to require the copyright owner, the author, to sign a copyright transfer, a short legal document that transfers certain copyright from the author to the publisher. In this case, the authors retain the copyright in their work that has not been granted to the publisher. [Citation required] In other words, a mutual agreement that a work is a work for rent is not enough. Any agreement that does not meet all of the above criteria is not a valid rental agreement and all rights in the work remain the property of the author. In addition, the courts have ruled that the agreement must be negotiated before work begins, although it does not need to be signed. Retroactive temporary work is not allowed.  For businesses that use independent contractors, including consulting and entertainment companies, it is especially important to review your contractor contracts for these four words “work done for leasing.” Oh, and if you use independent contractors and you don`t have a signed contractor agreement on file, you have a lot more risk than a simple ESD audit for this four-word technique! Any work created by an employee of the company during his employment is automatically the property of the company for which he works. In deciding whether a plant falls under the creation of employees, the courts will ask three questions: if and when the business is audited, the ESD will require copies of all independent contractor agreements, and if those four words are there, “work for rent,” the ESD will determine that the contractor (or a group of contractors) should be taxed as an employee. . .