Why Copyright Assignment Language Matters
There’s a general misunderstanding that work-for-hire agreements cover the creation — and transfer — of all copyrightable works. That’s not the case. Keep in mind that under US copyright law, a work is considered work-for-hire if the person creating the work is an employee or else an independent contractor fulfilling one or more of nine factors. Otherwise, the person creating the work not falling within one of the nine factors will need to assign her copyright to the commissioning party. Click here for a work-for-hire pdf circular from the US Copyright Office.
Evan Brown, of the Information Law Group, gives us a nice recap of why the drafting of an assignment clause is crucial when hiring creative individuals.