The basics of Copyrights – Registration and Duration

Although many types of “creative” and “original” Works are deemed to have copyright protection from the instant that the Work is created and “fixed in any tangible place”, in order for the owner within the copyright to receive greater rights and increase his or 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 International Copyright Registration in India has been infringed upon by another party. One should seek legal advice before trying to obtain registering a copyrighted Work, as it should be determined whether the Effort is copyrightable, i.e. the kind of Work for which a registration can be obtained. 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 labor 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 via time it is created, usually for your author’s life plus 70 years following an author’s death. For “a joint work prepared by some authors who would not work for hire,” the term stands for 70 years to learn death of last surviving author.

The copyright term for works created and published or registered before January 1, 1978 is the same as for people 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 actual word of copyright for these 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 made 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 a number of types of use use such as a contribution to a collective work, a facet of a film or other audiovisual work, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation or perhaps an instructional text if the parties agree written instrument that job will be considered a work since then hire.

The copyright term for works specifically for hire and anonymous and pseudonymous works (unless the author’s identity is revealed in Copyright Office records) is either 95 years out from 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 best 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 associated with scholarship can be essential from now a work is created all the way through the enforcement or recovery any specific infringement.

This article designed for informational purposes only. It should never be construed as legal advice and readers are motivated to consult a qualified attorney regarding these tips.