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Ownership of Copyright: Works Made for Hire

This lesson reviews the threshold principles of ownership by analyzing the "works made for hire" doctrine codified in the Copyright Act of 1976. In addition to an analysis of the current Copyright Act, this lesson will review the rules and doctrine of "works made for hire" under the Copyright Act of 1909. The review of both Acts is crucial to a proper determination of copyright ownership for original works of authorship created before January 1, 1978 and for those copyrighted works created on or after January 1, 1978. Depending on the date of creation, a court will be required to analyze differing rules of law to resolve the issue of copyright ownership. The purpose of this lesson is to augment the readings and study you have already done with your professor.

Again, as this lesson is meant as a review of materials you have covered in your class with your professor, you should become familiar with the 1909 Copyright Act and the 1976 Copyright Act as amended by the Berne Convention. In particular, you should have some knowledge of the interest and expense test for determining a "work made for hire" under the 1909 Act and the Reid multifactor test for determining a "work made for hire" under the 1976 Act.

If you do not have this background, do the lesson anyway to acquaint yourself with the rules and doctrine of "works made for hire" but do not concentrate on scoring. After your initial exposure to the material, revisit the lesson at some later point to confirm your understanding of the "work made for hire" doctrine.

Lesson Completion Time

30 minutes
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Lesson ID

CPY07