The basics of Copyrights – Registration and Duration

Although many types of “creative” and “original” Works are deemed to have copyright protection from the event that the Work created from 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 may be infringed upon by a third party. One should seek legal advice before looking for registering a copyrighted Work, as it should be determined whether the Effort is copyrightable, i.e. the type of Work for which a registration can be ordered. Simply applying to register a copyright does not necessarily mean that the work in question for you 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 piece that was created on or after January 1, 1978 is protected for this time it is created, usually for that author’s life plus 70 years following an author’s death. For “a joint work prepared by more than one authors who did not work for hire,” the term stands for 70 years since the 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 any 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 Sound Recording Copyright Registration in India 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 an employee within the scope of his or her employment or perhaps work specially ordered or commissioned a number of types of use use such as the contribution to a collective work, an aspect of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation or an instructional text if the parties agree documented instrument that activity will be considered a work since then hire.

The copyright term for works made for hire and anonymous and pseudonymous works (unless the author’s identity is revealed in Copyright Office records) is either 95 years from 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 a legal professional that specializes here. A number of law schools offer what is in order to as a Masters of Intellectual Property degree and the advice of an attorney with this level of scholarship can be essential from now a work is actually created all the way through the enforcement or recovery any specific infringement.

This article designed for informational purposes only. It can’t be construed as legal advice and readers are encouraged to consult a qualified attorney regarding these matters.