The basics of Copyrights – Registration and Duration

Although many types of “creative” and “original” Works are deemed to have copyright protection from the moment that the Work is generated 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 may be infringed upon by the outside party. One should seek legal advice before trying to get 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 ordered. Simply applying to register a copyright does not necessarily signify that the work in question is copyrightable.

The duration of copyrights varies from what type do the job is in question as well as when it originated or registered. A work that was created on or after January 1, 1978 is protected from the time it is created, usually for the author’s life plus 70 years as soon as the author’s death. For “a joint work prepared by more than one authors who did not work for hire,” the term great 70 years after 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 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, the actual word of Copyright Online Registration in India for 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 planned for hire” is one prepared by a within the scope of his or her employment or a work specially ordered or commissioned a number of types of use use such to be a contribution to a collective work, an element of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation or an instructional text if for example the parties agree in making instrument that job will be considered a work designed for hire.

The copyright 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 at a date of publication or 120 years from the date of creation, whichever is shorter.

As with other areas of Copyright and Intellectual Property Law, it is preferable to consult with an attorney that specializes in this field. A number of law schools offer what is called a Masters of Intellectual Property degree and the advice of an attorney with this involving scholarship can be essential from now a work is created all the way through the enforcement or recovery just about any infringement.

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