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 is created and “fixed in any tangible place”, in order for the owner of this 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 has been infringed upon by a third party. One should seek legal advice before applying for registering a copyrighted Work, as it should be determined whether the Effort is copyrightable, i.e. the type of Work for which a registration can be obtained. Simply applying to register a copyright does not necessarily signify that the work in real question is copyrightable.

The duration of copyrights varies from what type of labor 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 from the time it is created, usually for your author’s life plus 70 years system 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 since 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 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, if there was of copyright due to 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 staff within the scope of his or her employment as well as a work specially ordered or commissioned for several types of use use such as a contribution to a collective work, an aspect of a video or other audiovisual work, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation or an instructional text if for example the parties agree written down instrument that function will be considered a work made for hire.

The International Copyright Registration in India 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 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 best to consult with your lawyer 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 level of scholarship can be essential from after a work is reached all the way through the enforcement or recovery any sort of infringement.

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