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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Copyright Ownership

Volume 4 . Chapter 9 . § 9-05.03
Key point 9-05.03. Copyright ownership vests initially in the author of a work.

Who owns the copyright in a work, and what difference does it make? Section 201(a) of the Copyright Act states simply that "copyright in a work … vests initially in the author or authors of the work." The Act goes on to state that "the authors of a joint work are coowners of copyright in the work." Again, this is straightforward and needs no explanation. There is one aspect of copyright ownership that is more difficult to understand, namely, a "work made for hire." Works made for hire are addressed in the following section.

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