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Copyright Ownership

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.

Important Facts About Copyright Ownership You Didn’t Know

Important Facts About Copyright Ownership You Didn't Know

A copyright is a form of intellectual property given to an individual or company responsible for creating a tangible work which conveys an idea. A copyright can be given to a motion picture, photograph, musical recording, book, drawing, or any other known tangible medium. An idea cannot be copyrighted until after it has been translated into one of these forms of conveyance. 
Ownership of a copyright is automatically given to the author of the work the minute it is completed. Copyright ownership can be granted to one individual, several contributors to a work in a joint ownership, or to a company for which an individual works. 
If an individual creates a work for a company, the company is entitled to copyright ownership in a “work for hire” copyright claim. In any case, the copyright ownership grants the holder the ability to use, sell, recreate, license, and transfer a copyrighted work.
Copyrights do not last forever, however. Although the creator of a work will always have exclusive rights to his or her works, the copyright only lasts a certain amount of time after their death. As a result, if a copyright is passed down through a will, the person receiving the copyright is allowed to use the work for only a given amount of time before it becomes public domain. Once a work is public domain, anybody can use, recreate, or sell it without legal repercussions.
Even though a person is entitled to a copyright as soon as a work is completed, it is beneficial to have that work registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, especially if legal matters arise from the work. Once registered for a small fee, the U.S. Copyright Office will have no doubt who owns a certain work and if a person chooses to infringe on that copyright, there will be no question who is guilty in the case. 
As an owner of a copyright, an individual has the ability to place the rights to use a work in the hands of another individual. This is the process of licensing a copyright. The copyright owner, under a contract, allows the individual to recreate, sell, or use the work for their own benefit under certain restrictions and time limits as outlined in the contract. Once the contract for licensing expires, the licensee no longer has the right to use the work.
Transferring a copyright involves transferring ownership of the copyright from the original owner to another. Since a copyright is handled as a form of personal property, it is passed from one individual to another depending on the laws of the State in which it occurs. 
Copyright ownership can also be transferred through the will of an author. Physically transferring a copyrighted piece of work from one person to another does not give that person the actual copyright itself. Ownership transfer must be done through the U.S. Copyright Office.
The length of time in which exclusive rights to a work lasts has been a long debated issue. As a result, the rules concerning the length of a copyright have changed several times in the 20th Century. Originally, the rules for copyrights were established in 1909, giving copyright holders exclusive rights to their work for 28 years. If the copyright holder wished, he or she was entitled to renew the copyrights in the 28th year and extend their exclusivity for an additional 28 years.
The rules since 1909 have evolved vastly, and as of 1978, an individual copyright holder is entitled to protection for the entire length of his or her life, plus 70 years. If a copyright is jointly owned, it is valid for the remainder of the surviving person’s life, plus 70 years. For works made for hire, copyrights last for 95 years from its first publication or 120 years after its creation (whichever is the lesser of the two).

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.