Pencils Down

This weblog is about my experiences in software development

Browsing Posts tagged Contracting

I think in most cases you can try bugging the client for a while.  Then usually have to resort to hiring a collection agency.  That’s been my course of action twice now.  (Kind of interesting that given the economic conditions it has only happened twice)

A colleague of mine had a different idea.  She is a designer.  As such she produces logos, buttons, visuals, etc…  Since she was not paid she is revoking the client license to her art work.  Art work comes under copyright law.  If the client attempts to use any of her work in their product she can invoke copyright infringement!  Pretty cool stuff.

Then I was thinking it has always been murky as to what programmers produce.  I know the term intellectual property is thrown into the mix, but I think the same case could be made for actual code produced by a programmer as their artwork with copyright protection.  Isn’t that what many of the code theft cases come down to?

I wonder if I can enforce copyright infringement on code produced, but not paid for?  Due to wonderful things like source control it would be pretty easy to determine exactly what statements of code I entered into a system and whether they were still intact in the product.

Any lawyers out there interested in making headlines?

A couple of years ago I worked with this guy in Boston that was developing a pretty neat application for showcasing new real estate ventures.  I was pretty caught up in the glamour of the work and didn’t realize until sometime later that he had no money and no intention of paying me.  I sent several invoices to him, reported him and eventually wrote off the tax loss.

Today I see another neato programming ad on craigslist looking for expertise in GPS location.  Similar to the first time, I had practical experience in the area and started to make inquiries.  Again, not noticing compensation DOE or stock in the ad.

The guy responds with his full name.  Rings a bell.  I reply back he owes me money.  He says he doesn’t remember.  BS!  Looking around the net other people have similar experiences and someone even went to the trouble of creating a blog assasinating the guys character.  He even tries, lamely, to cover his misdeeds with an obscure yahoo email address – not from a dot com.

I know this guy will end up suckering someone else to the party.  There really is no way to stop him.

Although, I have been more cautious since then.  First couple of assignments are really pro-rated, up-front cash escrow.  This probably turns a bunch of people away, but I really can’t afford to work for free.

So, for as long as I have been contracting, I always went on 1099 contract.  I usually have a couple of different clients, so satisfying the IRS rules works.  A primary reason for doing so was the ability to write off expenses.  The largest expense has been and continues to be health insurance.

However, as part of Obama’s health insurance program I think ALL employees must be provided health insurance.  A W2 contractor is an employee by tax law definition.

So, does that mean W2 contracts now come with the automatic assumption of health benefits for the contractor?