Arthur Zorio, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck; The Importance of a Work Made For Hire Agreement
"It is ideal for a business to employ policies and strategies to own intellectual property, not merely to receive an assignment or license thereto. One tool for doing so is to ensure that copyrightable works are created under effective “work made for hire” circumstances. In the United States, the initial owner of a copyrightable work is generally the person who reduces a copyrightable expression to a tangible medium. However, the individual who reduces a copyrightable expression to a tangible medium is not the owner if it is a work made for hire. A work made for hire exists generally when: (1) the work is prepared by an employee within the course and scope of employment for the employer; or (2) the work is prepared by an independent contractor who has signed a work made for hire agreement pursuant to 17 U.S.C. Section 101."