Ownership Rights

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> The creator of a work is the owner of the copyright:

• it is wise to attach the copyright symbol, date, and name to the work to ensure protection. The work is protected with or without the notice, but creation may need to be proven.

• more protection can be obtained by registering the copyright with the U.S. copyright office, Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/copyright.

> Employers hold copyright if a work is created by the employ of a business within the scope of employment.

> Work-for-hire—if a client commissions a work from an independent contractor, the independent contractor holds the copyright as creator, unless both parties agree in writing that it is a ‘work-for-hire.’ Then, the client who commissioned the work owns the copyright for ninety-five years if the work comes within one of the nine categories identified in the copyright law. These are broad categories and the law is intentionally vague, so an attorney should be consulted if any questions. Work-for-hire includes:
a contribution to a collective work (such as a magazine, newspaper, encyclopedia, anthology, or even a computer database)
a contribution used as part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work
a supplementary work, which may include pictorial issutrations, maps, charts, etc., done to supplement a work by another author
a compilation (new arrangement of preexisting works)
a translation
an atlas
a test
answer materials for tests
an instruction text (literary, pictorial, or graphic work for use in systematic instruction activities).

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The copyright owner usually maintains the original workup files or artwork, and owns them even if in someone else’s possession. The owner has the right to:

> make derivative works or modifications—this includes using different media to execute an idea, combining images, or using special effects. It includes selling copies.

> publicly distribute copies, perform, or display the work—this includes using it for promotional purposes such as in a portfolio, advertising, or online.

> control reproduction of the work—setting up licenses which include:

First rights and specified rights—for purposes outlined in the agreement of use, which may include defined markets, media, or frequencies.

Exclusive rights—prohibit the creator from selling rights to anyone else to use. This can be limited to all markets or to a specific market. It can also be limited to a specific time frame.

Additional rights or consecutive use rights—allow the client the right to use a creative work in several reproductions or in several media. This is useful for campaigns and publication series. Often, a bundle of rights is transferred to the user client, as defined in the agreement. Websites fit this category.

Unlimited rights—means the user client purchases the right to use the creative work in any manner, for any market, and for either a spec iffier length  of time, or an unlimited length of time. The creator still maintains the copyright and can control alterations, variations, or derivations. Most websites should use unlimited rights because a successful image on the web should be used throughout the organization’s marketing materials. It only makes economic sense to have this integration, and those organizations who don’t build upon an integrated identity are spending investment dollars in a fragmented way. the exception is event marketing, which are campaigns that carry a theme through a series that is used to promote a finite activity.

There are many grey areas to licenses. Every platform defines this in their Terms of Service, which few people read or understand. But knowing these basic parameters are serious in the virtual world due to its international fluency.

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Copyright Clarity: Artists Informed:

Definitions determine understanding.

Permissions dictate use.

* Excerpted from Digital Design Business Practices, a classic resource, compiled from seven organizations, eight publications, and reviewed by intellectual property attorneys. It quotes the law and puts it in a form artists can understand.

If reproducing, please include:
© Copyright 1992, 1995, 2001, 2008, 2014, Liane Sebastian, Digital Design Business Practices.

Thank you and I hope that you find this helpful, Eleanor Medier, publisher.

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