Answered By: Gabe Gossett
Last Updated: Jan 14, 2016     Views: 530

Works are covered by copyright when the work is created in fixed form. The copyright immediately becomes the property of the author of the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights through the author can claim copyright.

In works for hire, the employer and not the employee is considered to be the author. Works for hire are defined as works prepared by an employee within the scope of employment or works specially ordered or commissioned.  See the U.S. Copyright Office pamphlet: Works Made For Hire.

A work does not have to be registered with the U.S. Copyright office in order to be protected by copyright. Registration of a work establishes a date of creation which may become important in any legal proceedings.

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