The basics of Copyrights – Registration and Duration

Although many types of “creative” and “original” Works are deemed to have Online Copyright Registration Symbol protection from the instant that the Work is done and “fixed in any tangible place”, in order for the owner of the copyright to receive greater rights and increase or perhaps her ability to protect those rights the Work should be registered.

The United States Copyright Office is a division of the United States Department of Commerce. Registering with this office will greatly enhance the copyright owner’s ability to seek various types of damages if the copyright may be infringed upon by a third party. One should seek legal advice before trying to obtain registering a copyrighted Work, as it should be determined whether the Tasks are copyrightable, i.e. the kind of Work for which a registration can be consumed. Simply applying to register a copyright does not necessarily imply the work in real question is copyrightable.

The duration of copyrights varies from what type of work is in question as well as when it was created or registered. A work that was created on or after January 1, 1978 is protected for this time it is created, usually for the author’s life plus 70 years following an author’s death. For “a joint work prepared by two or more authors who don’t work for hire,” the term created for 70 years to learn death of last surviving author.

The copyright term for works created and published or registered before January 1, 1978 could be the same as for those created on or after January 1, 1978, namely, lifetime of the author plus 70 years. The 95/120-year terms for works for hire apply to pre January 1, 1978 to these works also. However, the term of copyright because of works cannot expire before December 31, 2002. For works published on or before December 31, 2002, the term will not expire before December 31, 2047.

A “work meant for hire” is one prepared by the employee within the scope of his or her employment or perhaps work specially ordered or commissioned particular types of use use such as the contribution to a collective work, a part of a movie or other audiovisual work, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation or an instructional text in the event the parties agree written instrument that function will be considered a work made for hire.

The copyright term for works produced for hire and anonymous and pseudonymous works (unless the author’s identity is revealed in Copyright Office records) is either 95 years off the date of publication or 120 years from the date of creation, whichever is shorter.

As with other areas of Copyright and Intellectual Property Law, it is advisable to consult with legal assistance first that specializes in this field. A number of law schools offer what is in order to a Masters of Intellectual Property degree and the advice of an attorney with this amount of scholarship can be essential from the minute a work is actually created all the way through the enforcement or recovery of any infringement.

This article designed for informational purposes only. It need not be construed as legal advice and readers are inspired to consult a qualified attorney regarding these things.