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 is generated and “fixed in any tangible place”, in order for the owner of this copyright to receive greater rights and increase his or her 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 an out of doors party. One should seek legal advice before applying for registering a copyrighted Work, as it should be determined whether the Job is copyrightable, i.e. the type of Work for which a registration can be consumed. Simply applying to register a Brand Copyright Registration in India does not necessarily mean 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 from the time it is created, usually for the author’s life plus 70 years when the author’s death. For “a joint work prepared by 2 or more authors who couldn’t work for hire,” the term is actually for 70 years to learn 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 all those 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 term 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 made for hire” is one prepared by a within the scope of his or her employment as well as a work specially ordered or commissioned particular types of use use such being a contribution to a collective work, a facet of a video or other audiovisual work, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation or even an instructional text if the parties agree in making instrument that job will be considered a work constantly 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 out from 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 best to consult with an attorney that specializes in this area. A number of law schools offer what is known as a Masters of Intellectual Property degree and the advice of an attorney with this regarding scholarship can be essential from the event a work is actually created all the way through the enforcement or recovery any sort of infringement.

This article designed for informational purposes only. It can’t be construed as legal advice and readers are motivated to consult a qualified attorney regarding these matters.