Although many types of “creative” and “original” Works are deemed to have copyright protection from the instant that the Work is generated and “fixed in any tangible place”, in order for the owner of this copyright to receive greater rights and increase their own 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 Online Copyright Registration Symbol may be infringed upon by another party. One should seek legal advice before applying for 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 obtained. Simply applying to register a copyright does not necessarily mean the work in question is copyrightable.
The duration of copyrights varies from what type of work is in question as well as when it function is or registered. A work that was created on or after January 1, 1978 is protected for the time it is created, usually for that author’s life plus 70 years as soon as the author’s death. For “a joint work prepared by a couple of authors who don’t work for hire,” the term is actually for 70 years pursuing the death of last surviving author.
The copyright term for works created and published or registered before January 1, 1978 will 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 phrase 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 planned for hire” is one prepared by a member of staff within the scope of his or her employment also known as work specially ordered or commissioned particular types of use use such being a contribution to a collective work, a facet of a movie or other audiovisual work, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation as well as instructional text should the parties agree in writing instrument that the work will be considered a work constantly 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 via the date of publication or 120 years from the date of creation, whichever is shorter.
As with all areas of Copyright and Intellectual Property Law, it is better to consult with an attorney at law that specializes in this area. A number of law schools offer what is called a Masters of Intellectual Property degree and the advice of an attorney with this level of scholarship can be essential from the minute a work is reached all the way through the enforcement or recovery of any infringement.
This article designed for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice and readers are motivated to consult a qualified attorney regarding these things.