The fundamentals of Copyrights – Registration and Duration

Although many types of “creative” and “original” Works are deemed to have copyright protection from whenever that the Work created 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 has been infringed upon by the outside party. One should seek legal advice before trying to get registering a copyrighted Work, as it should be determined whether the Tasks are copyrightable, i.e. the type of Work for which a registration can be purchased. Simply applying to register a Sound Recording Copyright Registration in India does not necessarily imply the work in real question is copyrightable.

The duration of copyrights varies from what type of work is in question as well as when it was created 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 following an author’s death. For “a joint work prepared by 2 or more authors who did not work for hire,” the term stands for 70 years after the death of last surviving author.

The copyright term for works created and published or registered before January 1, 1978 is the same as for any 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 as a result 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 a 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 film or other audiovisual work, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation or an instructional text if your parties agree written down instrument that activity will be considered a work designed for 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 off 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 preferable to consult with an attorney 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 level of 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 should never be construed as legal advice and readers are inspired to consult a qualified attorney regarding these things.