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 is generated 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 been recently infringed upon by another party. One should seek legal advice before trying to get registering a copyrighted Work, as it should be determined whether the Job is copyrightable, i.e. the form of Work for which a registration can be received. Simply applying to register a copyright does not necessarily mean 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 was made or registered. A piece that was created on or after January 1, 1978 is protected for the time it is created, usually for the author’s life plus 70 years system author’s death. For “a joint work prepared by a couple of authors who does not work for hire,” the term is 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, 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 of 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 meant for hire” is one prepared by the employee within the scope of his or her employment also known as work specially ordered or commissioned for certain types of use use such as the contribution to a collective work, a facet of a flick or other audiovisual work, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation and even instructional text if Online Application for Copyright Registration in India example the parties agree written instrument that job will be considered a work meant for hire.

The copyright term for works since that time 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 that specializes of this type. A number of law schools offer what is known as a Masters of Intellectual Property degree and the advice of an attorney with this involving scholarship can be essential from the moment a work created from all the way through the enforcement or recovery just about any infringement.

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