CopyrightTips from experts* at CopyrightsNow.com
Which is right for you? Company vs. Individual copyrights?
Copyright is a type of intellectual property that grants legal protection to the creators of original works, such as printed book, e-book, audiobook, video, photos, illustrations, pictures, songs, software and website.
Copyrighting material under a company name versus an individual name has some important differences and considerations. Here are a few reasons why you might copyright material under a company name:
- Separation of Ownership: When a company owns a copyright, it is separate from the owners and employees of the company. This can make it easier to transfer ownership or licensing of the copyright in the future
- Limited Liability and Increased Protection: Should there be a claim of infringement against the work, company ownership may help shield you from personal liability; also a company has more resources and legal standing to enforce its copyrights and defend against infringement
- Professional Image: Registering a copyright under a company name can convey a professional image and increase the perceived value of the copyrighted material
- Tax Benefits: In some cases, registering a copyright under a company name may have tax benefits (consult with your tax attorney or accountant)
On the other hand, individuals may choose to copyright material under their own name because it is simpler and less costly, and they may have greater control over the material and its use.
It is important to carefully consider your specific circumstances and your objectives when deciding whether to copyright material under a company name or an individual name.
Note: Always consult with your tax attorney or accountant for advice on which entity should own the copyrights – an Individual or Company.
What if you work for yourself… as an employee of your own Self-Publishing Company?
- If you worked in the ‘role’ of an employee for your company, then the work you create is ‘owned’ by the Company (even your own company) and therefore the company would own the rights to your content, including: text, images, photos, etc.
Here's a step-by-step guide to copyrighting material under a company name:
1. Create original copyrightable material: This can be in the form of printed book, e-book, audiobook, video, photos, illustrations, pictures, songs, software and website and other types of creative expression.
2. Determine the legal ownership entity: The company must be the legal entity of the copyrights.
Typically, this is done under a ‘Work-for-Hire’ agreement – where a commissioned work or work is created by an employee – has all ownership rights vested with the company.
For more info on using ‘Work-for-Hire’ see this article:
3. Register Copyrights: Register the material with the U.S. Copyright Office by submitting a properly formatted copyright application, fee, and a copy of the material being copyrighted. The copyright registration must be in the name of the organization.
Note: A fast and easy way to register copyrights is using CopyrightsNow – a software app that navigates through this process with ‘step-by-step’ prompts, 1-click ‘on-line help’ and extensive edits and validation.
- To register a U. S. copyright, you have two filing options:
- As ‘Individual’ or
- As ‘Organization’
- If you’re filing under a Company name… you will file as an ‘Organization’ as both ‘Author’ and ‘Claimant’ as follows…
- For ‘Author’— Indicate ‘Organization’ and enter your company name and contact information and check ‘Work-for-Hire’, then enter the original content type for the contribution (i.e., text, photos, art, etc.) as if the company created it (Note: Your name would not appear as the Author)
- For ‘Claimant’ – Indicate ‘Organization’ and your company name and contact information (Note: Your name would not appear as the Claimant)
For ‘Certificate' – You may indicate both your company name and your name (if you like) printed on the certificate
4. Place copyright notice on your work: “© [Year] [Company Name]) All Rights Reserved.” to indicate that the company owns the copyright to the material.
It's important to note that while you are automatically granted a copyright when you create an original work, the U. S. Supreme Court requires that you register your copyrights before filing a lawsuit to protect and enforce your rights. You can register both unpublished and published works.
Do you need a copyright for each ISBN? see this article for details:
To start your copyright protection, click to learn more about registration NOW!
The information contained in this post and software application are believed to be accurate at the time of publication; however, copyright regulations change and subject to various interpretations… so always consult with a personal attorney for legal advice.
DISCLAIMERS: Digi-Rights® and CopyrightsNow® are registered trademarks of Digi-Rights Direct LLC. CopyrightsNow is not affiliated with the U. S. Copyright Office. Neither Digi-Rights Direct LLC nor its Affiliate Partners or Service Providers are attorneys and we do not provide legal advice regarding copyrights and licensing, and we are not liable for any damages resulting from reliance upon statements and tutorial material.
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