Most people who have worked as freelancers for a while will have a story about a client who never paid. Often freelancers just do not have the time to think about getting a lawyer or writing a contract. Indeed the costs of getting a lawyer involved usually outweigh the risks for most freelancer engagements.
However many times, all the freelancer needs is that the client understands how they roll: the terms of how they engage. To avoid getting burned, I require my clients to either prepay the hours or sign my terms of engagement.
We did it! NZ is (very nearly almost) free of software patents!
"We recommend amending clause 15 to include computer programs among inventions that may not be patented. We received many submissions concerning the patentability of computer programs. Under the Patents Act 1953 computer programs can be patented in New Zealand provided they produce a commercially useful effect. Open source, or free, software has grown in popularity since the 1980s. Protecting software by patenting it is inconsistent with the open source model, and its proponents oppose it. A number of submitters argued that there is no “inventive step” in software development, as “new” software invariably builds on existing software. They felt that computer software should be excluded from patent protection as software patents can stifle innovation and competition, and can be granted for trivial or existing techniques. In general we accept this position.
A great directory of FLOSS alternatives http://www.webi.org/osalternative.html