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Subcontracting - the Right Way to Do It

f9f08439
Active Member
Pavel T Member Since: Aug 7, 2017
1 of 37

I've been considering subcontracting parts of projects I do on Upwork. After reading related community posts and help pages a couple of questions remain.

 

My understanding is that subcontracting is allowed on fixed-price contracts as long as clients are aware and agree to it. Previous posts from about this link to the section of ToS that does no longer exist, so would be great if moderators could confirm my understanding is correct and reference the current section of ToS regarding freelancer responsibilities on fixed-price contracts.

 

I'd love to ask freelancers who subcontract, when and how do you notify clients. I'm going to be involved in the projects delivery hands-on (as opposed to being a project manager), so was wondering what's the best phrasing to convey this to prevent misinterpretation.

 

Any advice or experience with subcontracting would be most helpful. Thanks

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
2 of 37

Hi Pavel,

 

You can still find articles referencing subcontracting here

 

Thanks.

~ Valeria
Upwork
charles_kozierok
Community Guru
Charles K Member Since: Mar 6, 2017
3 of 37

So that's where the language about work product ownership ended up (section 6.4).

 

Valeria, this is an important issue that's been debated for years. Do you know why the rules about who owns work product are in a document called "Optional Service Contract Terms"? I would think those rules would need to be front and center.

 

Thanks.

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
4 of 37

Hi Charles,

 

We make the Optional Service Contract Terms available to users as a courtesy, but they are free and encouraged to enter into agreements that work for them. The intellectual property assignment provision has always been optional as users have always been free to agree to different terms. There is nothing new here except that all the optional terms were broken out of the old Section 6 of the User Agreement and moved to a standalone agreement.

~ Valeria
Upwork
charles_kozierok
Community Guru
Charles K Member Since: Mar 6, 2017
5 of 37

Valeria, thanks for the reply.

 

I don't have access to the old documents, but I am pretty sure that paragraph never said anything about it being "optional" before. Its presence in the user agreement main document implied that it was standard policy. Moving it to where it now thus is effectively a change unless my memory fails me.


Regardless, this leaves a still-unanswered question. Absent any "optional" contract terms, what is the default Upwork policy with respect to when and how work product becomes the property of the client? And how is this affected by transactions such as refunds?


This seems like a pretty important issue to some freelancers.

iram_fatti
Active Member
Irum H Member Since: Aug 27, 2020
6 of 37

i have send 3 proposals, 1 client is taking interview but   up work showing 1  proposal skiping interview also , jobs are still open cany ou tell me the reason.

egaruth
Moderator
Nikola S Moderator Member Since: Jul 2, 2020
7 of 37

Hi Irum,

 

Could you please provide more information on the mater you need our assistance with? 

 

Please note that your profile must represent you as an individual and that all the information in your profile including your profile photo needs to be accurate, truthful, and verifiable. Please check this help article for more information on how to update your profile photo.

 

~ Nikola

Untitled
researchediting
Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
8 of 37

@Charles K wrote:

So that's where the language about work product ownership ended up (section 6.4).

 

Valeria, this is an important issue that's been debated for years. Do you know why the rules about who owns work product are in a document called "Optional Service Contract Terms"? I would think those rules would need to be front and center.

 

Thanks.


Charles,

I think the salient point here is not visibility or prominence, but applicability. Upwork’s former pre-emotive application of “work for hire” terms to a contractual situation to which it did not apply was onerous. It has always been the case that provider and contractor can come to their own terms about work product ownership, and remains so. What has changed is that Upwork’s entirely client-favoring terms are no longer, if I understand right, the default for any and all jobs.

 

Best,

MIchael

charles_kozierok
Community Guru
Charles K Member Since: Mar 6, 2017
9 of 37

Okay, so in place of that onerous default we have what?

 

It appears to be the Wild West. Nobody knows who owns what when and under what circumstances.

 

How is this situation good for anyone?

 

I don't care personally, it has no effect on my work. But this seems pretty horrible for those dealing with creative IP -- both clients and freelancers.

researchediting
Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
10 of 37

@Charles K wrote:

Okay, so in place of that onerous default we have what?

 

It appears to be the Wild West. Nobody knows who owns what when and under what circumstances.

 

How is this situation good for anyone?

 

I don't care personally, it has no effect on my work. But this seems pretty horrible for those dealing with creative IP -- both clients and freelancers.


We have standard copyright law and industry practice, which any professional should be familiar with as they apply to their field. 

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