Essentials 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 created from and “fixed in any tangible place”, in order for the owner from 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 may be infringed upon by the outside party. One should seek legal advice before trying to obtain registering a copyrighted Work, as it should be determined whether the Work is copyrightable, i.e. the form of Work for which a registration can be received. Simply applying to register a Online Copyright Application in India does not necessarily signify that the work in question is copyrightable.

The duration of copyrights varies from what type of work is in question as well as when it originated or registered. A work that was created on or after January 1, 1978 is protected out of your time it is created, usually for your author’s life plus 70 years as soon as the author’s death. For “a joint work prepared by more than one authors who would not work for hire,” the term created for 70 years pursuing 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 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, if there was 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 meant for hire” is one prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment probably a work specially ordered or commissioned for certain types of use use such as a contribution to a collective work, a facet of a movie or other audiovisual work, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation and even instructional text if your parties agree documented instrument that the work will be considered a work constantly 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 off 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 a legal professional 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 amount of scholarship can be essential from the minute a work is created 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 motivated to consult a qualified attorney regarding these things.