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Are you not afraid of them stealing your code / intellectual property?

What stops your current employees from stealing code or intellectual property? As long as the OP has decent hiring practices, he shouldn't be any more afraid than hiring an American.

I've been on both sides of the table (both hired and been hired remotely) and this is covered under the standard employment contract.

Well, there is a difference when you're in the same country as the employee: it's much easier to sue.

I think my comment is being downvoted so much because it is perceived as (possibly even) racist? That would be far from the truth. I wrote the comment because I genuinely thought about outsourcing dev work for an app I am working on, but decided against it because I was afraid my code would end up somewhere on the internet.

Your fear is not unfounded. I am very familiar with the legal/court system in a south american country and I can pretty much assure you that any attempts to sue / enforce the terms of your contract to someone who is willing to break the law would be expensive and futile. That said, I personally know many top notch developers working remotely for US companies that would never dare to put their reletionships/reputation at risk by being careless/malicious with code. It is just to good a gig to risk.

* I guess if your code was sooo valuable someone could be tempted into cheating it could happen.. but if that is the case, a US developer would behave no different.

It did come across as xenophobic, and as a remote developer I found it a bit insulting, although I understand where you come from.

Yes, you have to weigh the risks and rewards, and if having your app source code disseminated would break you, then I'd want a high degree of control too. I have been given quite a lot of trust in my remote jobs and I haven't breached it, but I believe the companies involved would have been able to sue (so they weren't as helpless as an individual coder), and even if I had turned out to be morally corrupt, it wasn't something where stealing it would have given me much of a material advantage anyways (enterprise code is very much tailored to fit).

The linux kernel has so much more intellectual property to steal than your web app/phone app/sql queries. If your code is that valuable someone will buy your company. Everything out can be recreated. What can't be recreated is getting there first... Do yourself a favor, get there first, and fight to be first... All that myspace/friendster code isn't worth much if you don't get there first...and keep at it.

I've heard a story about SV startup (onsite) employees stealing their startup's code base and launching their own company with it. It turned out to be more successful than the original one, which eventually tanked. The owners tried going to court, but they didn't have enough proof to get a search warrant (or whatever the proper legal term is here) for their fraudulent competition.

BTW this also shows that having on-site employees is not a protection against frauds/thieves...

I'm developing a desktop app. Access to the source code would make it much easier to crack.

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