What is work for hire? Should I work for hire or sell or assign my copyright?

What is work for hire? Should I work for hire or sell or assign my copyright?

“Work for hire” can exist only under two conditions. First, it can exist in an employer-employee relationship where the work is part of the author’s employment. Indicia that you are an employee includes use of the employer’s work space and equipment, daily supervision by the employer, a regular salary from the employer, and health and pension benefits.

Second, a “work for hire” can be formed if (a) there is a written agreement that explicitly states the product will be a work for hire and (b) the product fits into one of nine categories. While these nine categories include authorship within the motion picture and television industries, authorship within theatre is NOT included.

Typically, a “work for hire” agreement to a dramatist includes the sentence, “If for any reason the Author’s work should be considered not a work for hire, Author hereby assigns the copyright in perpetuity to the [producer/theatre/etc.]. In other words, this agreement is a copyright assignment. Copyright assignments are far from standard practice in the theatre industry.

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