Copyright Compendium

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1802.6 (E) Work Made for Hire

 

1802.6 (E) Work Made for Hire

 

If the applicant failed to complete the work made for hire section of the application for basic registration, that information may be added to the registration record with a supplementary registration. Likewise, if the basic registration erroneously states that the work is (or is not) a work made for hire, the correct information may be added to the registration record with a supplementary registration.

 

In all cases, this determination should be based on the facts that existed at the time when the basic registration was made. In some cases, a new transfer statement may be required if the author named in the application for supplementary registration and the claimant named in the basic registration are not the same.

 

Examples:

 

• Jessica Fineman is a professional songwriter. She formed a closely held corporation to manage her financial portfolio and she routinely assigns her copyrights to this entity for tax purposes. In 1978 Jessica registered a song titled “Termination Nation.” She named Jessica Fineman, Inc. as the author and copyright claimant and she checked the box indicating that the song was created as a work made for hire. In 2013 Jessica submits an application for supplementary registration stating that she should have named herself as the author of this song and the work made for hire box should have been checked “no,” because she did not write this work as an employee of Jessica Fineman, Inc. Jessica also provides the transfer statement “by written agreement” to explain that she assigned the copyright in this song to her closely held corporation. The registration specialist will issue the supplementary registration.

 

• Julian Chariot is an amateur songwriter. In 2000 he registered a song titled “Trust Me.” Julian named himself as the author and claimant, but mistakenly checked the work made for hire box “yes,” because he assumed that this is the best way to tell the world that he wants to be hired as a songwriter. In 2013, Julian submits an application for a supplementary registration stating that the work made for hire box should have been checked “no.” The registration specialist will issue the supplementary registration.