Fundamentals of Copyrights – Registration and Duration

Although many types of “creative” and “original” Works are deemed to have copyright protection from the moment 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 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 copyright is infringed upon by an out of doors party. One should seek legal advice before looking 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 received. Simply applying to register a Online Copyright Registration Symbol does not necessarily signify that the work in question is copyrightable.

The duration of copyrights varies from what type perform is in question as well as when it was made or registered. A piece that was created on or after January 1, 1978 is protected from the time it is created, usually for your author’s life plus 70 years after the author’s death. For “a joint work prepared by 2 or more authors who would not work for hire,” the term is actually for 70 years after the death of last surviving author.

The copyright term for works created and published or registered before January 1, 1978 may be the same as for those created on or after January 1, 1978, namely, life 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 as a result 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 progressed rapidly to meet hire” is one prepared by the employee within the scope of his or her employment probably a work specially ordered or commissioned particular types of use use such to be a contribution to a collective work, an aspect of a movie or other audiovisual work, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation or an instructional text if the parties agree in writing instrument that job will be considered a work designed for hire.

The copyright term for works ready 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 every area of Copyright and Intellectual Property Law, it is far better consult with an attorney that specializes in this field. A number of law schools offer what is known as a Masters of Intellectual Property degree and the advice of an attorney with this level of scholarship can be essential from the event a work is created all the way through the enforcement or recovery virtually any infringement.

This article is intended for informational purposes only. It can not be construed as legal advice and readers are inspired to consult a qualified attorney regarding these matters.