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614.2 (B) (3) Naming the Employee or the Individual Who Actually Created the Work as the Author of a Work Made for Hire

 

614.2 (B) (3) Naming the Employee or the Individual Who Actually Created the Work as the Author of a Work Made for Hire

 

If the work is a work made for hire, the employer or the party that ordered or commissioned the work should be named as the author. In other words, if the work made for hire was created by an employee acting within the scope of his or her employment, the employer should be identified as the author of the work, not the employee. Similarly, if the work made for hire was specially ordered or commissioned, the party that ordered or commissioned the work should be identified as the author of the work, not the individual who actually created the work. If it appears that the applicant has named an employee as the author of a work made for hire, the registration specialist will communicate with the applicant.

 

Examples:

 

• An application for an advertising brochure names Susanne Taylor as the author of “text and photographs.” The work made for hire question is answered “yes.” Argonne, Inc. is named as copyright claimant and the transfer statement reads “Susanne Taylor is Owner, President, and CEO of Argonne, Inc.” The brochure describes the company’s services and the copyright notice reads “¬© 2012 Argonne, Inc.” The registration specialist will communicate with the applicant. The specialist will explain that senior officers or owners of organizations may be considered employees if they prepared a work while acting within the scope of their duties. If the applicant confirms that Susanne created the work on behalf of Argonne, Inc., the company should be named as the author, the work made for hire box should be checked “yes,” and Susanne’s name should be removed from the application.

 

• An application is submitted for a screenplay, naming a screenwriter as the author and a production company as the copyright claimant. The work made for hire question has not been answered and no transfer statement has been provided. The registration specialist will communicate with the applicant to determine whether the production company hired the screenwriter to create this screenplay as a work made for hire or acquired copyright in this work through a written agreement with the screenwriter.

 

• An application names Jeremy Roe as author of “text, photographs.” The work made for hire question is answered “no.” Berger & Berger, LLC is named as claimant and the transfer statement reads “for hire agreement.” The registration specialist will communicate with the applicant. The application indicates that Berger & Berger hired Jeremy to create this work as a work made for hire. Therefore, the company should be listed as the author, the work made for hire question should be answered “yes,” and Jeremy’s name should be removed from the application.

 

The U.S. Copyright Office will accept an application that names the individual who actually created a work made for hire, provided that the employer or the party that ordered or commissioned the work is identified as the author and the relationship between the employer and the employee, or the relationship between the person or organization that ordered or commissioned the work and the individual who actually created the work, is clearly indicated.

 

Example:

 

• Lawrence Jeffries is a staff copywriter for Freemont Enterprises, Inc. Lawrence prepared a brochure that describes the company’s newest product. The brochure is a work made for hire, because Jeffries prepared this work within the scope of his employment. Freemont Enterprises, Inc. should be named as the author of the work and the work made for hire box should be checked “yes.” Although there is no need to provide Lawrence’s name, the application will be accepted if it identifies the author as “Freemont Enterprises, Inc. employer of Lawrence Jeffries.”