The fundamentals of Copyrights – Registration and Duration

Although many types of “creative” and “original” Works are deemed to have copyright protection from the event that the Work is done 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 Online Song Copyright Registration in India 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 applying for registering a copyrighted Work, as it should be determined whether the Work is copyrightable, i.e. the type of Work for which a registration can be purchased. Simply applying to register a copyright 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 made or registered. A piece that was created on or after January 1, 1978 is protected out of your time it is created, usually for your author’s life plus 70 years when the author’s death. For “a joint work prepared by some authors who don’t work for hire,” the term is actually for 70 years after the death of last surviving author.

The copyright term for works created and published or registered before January 1, 1978 may 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, phrase 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 also known as work specially ordered or commissioned for several types of use use such as the contribution to a collective work, a necessary part of a flick or other audiovisual work, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation and even instructional text if for example the parties agree in making instrument that function will be considered a work meant for hire.

The copyright term for works since that time hire and anonymous and pseudonymous works (unless the author’s identity is revealed in Copyright Office records) is either 95 years 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 advisable to consult with your lawyer that specializes in this area. A number of law schools offer what is called a Masters of Intellectual Property degree and the advice of an attorney with this amount of scholarship can be essential from the event a work fabricated from all the way through the enforcement or recovery any sort of infringement.

This article is intended for informational purposes only. It need not be construed as legal advice and readers are encouraged to consult a qualified attorney regarding these matters.