Who Owns the Copyright to a Creation?


Quick Answer

The creator of the piece automatically owns the copyright as soon as the piece is created and tangible. This includes writings, images, videos and other representations of a creation. Copyrights can be transferred to someone else by the owner.

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Full Answer

Copyright over a creation can be held by more than one person if it was created in tandem or sold to a group. In some instances where a person has gone into a contract with a larger company, such as a magazine or newspaper, he may not have the copyright to his creation. Instead, people in a work-for-hire situation automatically transfer their copyright to the employer.

Registering a creation is not required to receive copyright, but registration can help provide proof of ownership. This is useful in cases of copyright infringement where the owner may be losing money due to such infringement. Copyrights stay in place and are protected until 70 years after the death of the creator.

A copyright can be registered at any point after the creation of the material, and registration requires forms, fees and a copy of the creation for the process to go smoothly. It is possible to file an official copyright online through the national Copyright Office.

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