question.jpgIn Copyrights

Who can get a copyright?

Whenever an author creates an original work which is eligible for copyright protection, and puts that original work in a fixed form, the author immediately receives copyright protection for that work - in other words, copyright protection exists from the moment an eligible work is created. While copyright protection generally goes to the author who created the work, this is not true in the case of a so-called “work made for hire.” In this situation, the author’s employer is considered the owner of the copyright, and the employer obtains all resulting rights in the work.

Where more than one person works to create something together, they are considered joint authors of the work, and they each are entitled to full copyright protection of the work. For collective works, such as anthologies or magazines, there are generally copyrights for each individual contribution (which would be owned by the original author) as well as a copyright in the overall collection, protecting the selection and arrangement of the contributions (and this copyright would be owned by the author who put the collection together).

While all copyright rights initially go to the author of a work, these rights are divisible, so over time, different rights to a work may be owned by different people. For example, the author of a book may option that book to a movie studio, so the movie studio would own the right of adaptation while the author would maintain all the other copyright rights.