There are several general principles as
to who can claim copyright:
1. The author who created the work of authorship immediately becomes
the owner of the copyright in the work. Only the author or those
who derive their rights from the author can rightfully claim copyright.
2. The authors of a joint work are co-owners of the copyright in
the work, unless there is an agreement to the contrary.
3. Copyright in each separate contribution to a periodical or other
collective work is distinct from copyright in the collective work
as a whole and vests initially with the author of the contribution.
4. In the case of works made for hire, the employer and not the
employee is considered to be the author. "Work made for hire"
is defined by the Copyright Act as a work prepared by an employee
within the scope of his or her employment or a work specially ordered
or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work,
a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, a translation,
a supplementary work, a compilation, an instructional text, a test,
answer material for a test, or an atlas, if the parties expressly
agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall
be considered a work made for hire.
What Works are Protected
Who Can Claim Copyright
for Receiving Copyright Protection
Rights and Limitations
Duration of the Rights
Frequently Asked Questions about Copyright