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Work for Hire (Copyright)

Smith Hopen Intellectual Property Term Glossary Definition for Work for Hire (Copyright)
Works created by a full time employee are generally considered to be "authored" by the employer. To define "employee", courts consider: (1) the hiring party's right to control the manner and means of creation; (2) the skill required; (3) the provision of employee benefits; (4) the tax treatment of the hired party; and (5) whether the hiring party has the right to assign additional projects to the hired party. Aymes v. Bonelli, 980 F.2d 857, 861 (2nd Cir. 1992). For independent contractors, the agreement must be in writing and only covers: (1) contributions to a collective work; (2) part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; (3) a translation; (4) a supplementary work; (5) a compilation; (6) an instructional text; (7) as a test; (8) as answer material for a test; or (9) as an atlas. 17 USC Sec. 101.


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