Copyright Assignment

Copyright Assignment is an agreement, where the writer transfers, partial or all rights of his writing to the third person, in exchange of certain amount of money. Such agreements are basically carried out by the script writer of movie or authors of the books, when they transfer all or part rights to their work to the movie producer or the publisher of book, in exchange of monetary considerations for their finished work. The agreement is also essential to prevent the writer for filing copyright violation and infringement claim for reusing his works.

There are different ways, how the writer or author transfers his right. In first instance, the writer may be employed by the producer to write for screenplay or he may be appointed as ‘Work-made-for-Hire’, to finish the writing job. Once, the writer completes writing assignment, he transfers script right to the producer, through the Copyright transfer agreement and give written undertaking that, the writing was completed during ‘Work-made-for-Hire’. By signing the right transfer Agreement, the producer owns and becomes the legal owner of the work completed by the author.

It is also to be noted that, the writer not only transfers his right for the work but, also transfers numerous below given rights to the third party:

• Copies of the work can be reproduced

• Derivative or copied work can be created, from the work of the writer.

• The copies or the original work can be sold or distributed to the public, through ownership transfer, publishing, lending, renting and other means.

• The work can be displayed and used publicly for monetary or other considerations.

The agreement also bears the contact details, provisions for the transfer of the rights to the sponsor or agent, warranties and representations, date of the agreement, signature of both parties and numerous other clauses. The signed Contract becomes legally binding on either party and can be produced in the court for the settled of the disputes and copyright violations.

It is also advisable that, the contract should be filed with the US Copyright Office to safeguard from Copyright Violation and Infringement suits in future date. The Copyright Assignment filing must be carried out in right order, such as proper designation, type of work (employed or work-made-for Hire) and nature of the rights transferred. During Copyright infringement claims in the court, such agreement and filing details in the US Copy Right office is very helpful to safeguard the assignee or transferee.

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