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Copyright Ownership

Ownership of Copyright At A Glance

Ownership of Copyright At A Glance

When an
author has copyright ownership of a work, he or she has the rights to the work
and can use, license, transfer, and sell the work. In copyright law, the work
is usually any idea that is conveyed through a specific medium. A person does
not have ownership of a copyright until an idea is presented through musical
pieces, motion pictures, photographs, drawings, or paintings. So, how is
ownership of a copyright determined?

Initial Ownership

An artistic work is copyrighted to the author of
the work the minute that it is completed. Initial ownership can be granted to
several authors, as long as each person contributed to the overall creation of
the work. If the work has been created by two or more authors, then the
copyright is granted for co-ownership to the authors.

What Are Works Made for Hire?

If a person creates a work for his or her employer
or another person or entity for which the author was hired, the work is owned
by the hirer. The only way in which an author can gain ownership of a work when
performing duties for an employer is if both entities agree and sign a written
contract that the author owns all copyrights to the work.

Contributions to Collective

The copyrights that are present for separate
contributions to a work of collections is different than the copyright to the
collective work itself. Initially, the work is considered to be copyrighted for
the author of the contributing work. If a transfer of copyright ownership is
not present, then it is assumed that the author compiling a collective work has
acquired the rights to reproduce and distribute the works present within the
collective work.

The Transfer of Ownership

The transfer of ownership of any copyright may be
done as a whole or in part by any means of operation by law. Ownership can be
transferred by a will or may be passed as personal property under the laws of
intestate succession. All rights which are given by ownership of copyrights may
also be transferred unless a clause in a contract exists.

Involuntary transfer of copyrights and all
exclusive rights that come with it which have not been previously transferred
may not be transferred through seizure, expropriation, or transfer by any
governmental body, organization, or official. In other words, no entity may
forcefully transfer the rights of a copyright protection without the consent of
the original author of a work.

Don’t Miss Out On These Important Facts About Transfers and Licenses

Don't Miss Out On These Important Facts About Transfers and Licenses

A copyright
is any right that is given to an individual, either by authorship or
inheritance, to use, reproduce, sell, license, and transfer a work. The work
can be in any tangible medium that conveys an idea, such as a motion picture,
painting, or musical piece. Just because a person transfers ownership of an
object does not give him or her the right to claim copyright ownership of it.
This distinguishes copyright ownership from object ownership. Only a copyright
owner (usually the author of the work) is allowed to transfer ownership of the
copyright to another entity or license a copyright for temporary use by another

Copyright Transfers

A copyright  transfer occurs when an owner of
a copyright gives all the exclusive rights that come with copyright ownership
to another person or entity. Some copyright transfers come with clauses, in
which only a select amount of rights are given to the new copyright owner.

A transfer of copyright ownership is not valid
until an instrument of conveyance or a note of the transfer is created. It must
be in writing and signed by the owner of the rights or an authorized agent of
the owner. Although a certificate of acknowledgment is not required during a
transfer of rights, it is evidence that the execution of the transfer took
place. Within the United States, the certificate must be issued by someone
qualified to do so. If the transfer is done in a foreign country, the
certificate is to be issued by a diplomatic officer of the United States.

Any transfer of copyright ownership or any other
document pertaining to copyright may be documented by the
 United States Copyright Office if the
document has the signature of the person who executed it. The Copyright Office
will then review the document of transfer and return it with a certificate of
record. If there are two conflicting transfers, only the one that was executed
first is valid. If a copyright is licensed to another company, it overrides
some provisions of a transfer document.

Copyright Licenses

The word “license” means to give
permission. When a copyright licensing is initiated by an owner of a work, he
or she is giving copyright permission to another entity and thereby allowing
him or her to use the work for his or her own means. Under intellectual
property laws, the licensee is freed from any infringement charges that may be
brought upon by the licensor.

Usually, the copyright permission comes with
several provisions pertaining to a term, territory and renewal. There are other
possible limitations as well. A term refers to the length of time in which the
copyright licensing is valid. If the value of the copyright rises after the
term is over, the licensor then benefits from this. This also ensures that the
licensor maintains power over the licensee. “Territory” refers to
which regions of the world the licensee may use the copyright. For example,
some licenses may be limited for use only in China and the licensee cannot
legally use the license in Japan.

Quick Overview of Copyright Ownership Background

Quick Overview of Copyright Ownership Background


A copyright is a form of protection that is placed on original works created to express ideas. The idea being conveyed must be presented in a tangible medium. Mediums which may be copyrighted are motion pictures, paintings, musical pieces, websites, literary works, photographsAnchor, and more. The creator of such works is automatically the original owner of the content the minute that it is finished.

As an owner of a copyright, that person has the right to use the work in any way he or she wishes. They can sell, alter, and use the created work as they wish without any conflict. They are also given several other options as well to allow other entities to use the work, including for licensing, transferring, and assigning.

Ownership of a copyright does not last forever. The copyrighted work becomes public domain after a certain amount of years after the author's death. When a work becomes public domain, anyone may use it any way they wish. Copyrights can be transferred after a person's death only through the author's will. If a person finds their grandmother's paintings in the attic, he cannot use them if he was not given the rights to do so in the will.

A copyright is considered to be a personal property right. As a result, it is held under State laws and regulations that govern general ownership and property rights through inheritance, transferAnchor and contracts. If you need legal advice and assistance, contact copyright lawyers.

Copyright ownership transferAnchor is usually done through the use of contracts, usually provided under the confines of the State in which it takes place. The U.S. Copyright OfficeAnchor does not have forms to perform transfers. Transfer of a copyright is not as easy as transferring property of an object. Though one person holds ownership of material, he or she may not be the copyright holder of the material.