Copyright Assignment is an agreement, where the author of a work transfers all his rights or partial rights of his work to another or third person for certain sum of money. For example, when a script writer writes for a screenplay and transfers all or partial rights of the written script to the producer of the motion picture, then such agreements are entered in a Form, known as Copyright Assignment Form. The work may have been completed as an employee or “Work-made-for Hire”. The agreement makes the producer legal owner of the work of the author and also prevents the writer from taking any infringement claim against the producer for the use of script in the production of the motion picture.
There is again difference as “work-made-for-Hire” may be employed staff of the organization and work was created during the tenure of employment. In another case, the author may have agreed to undertake writing for another person and may have given written undertaking that the work is created under “Work-made-for-Hire”. Here author is especially assigned/ordered to create a work and must come under the category listed in Section 101 of the Copyright Act.
Along with other rights, the author also transfers following Rights of his work to the owner through Copyright Assignment Form:
Among other provisions through which all or partial rights are transferred to the sponsor or its agent, the agreement also have clauses of representations and warranties with the date of the agreement and signature of both parties, making it legally binding document.
The best course for the writer to safeguard from any infringement or copyright violation in future date is to file the Copyright Assignment Agreement with the US Copyright Office, under the proper designation, provisions of work- made -on –hire or third party creation and which rights were transferred to the sponsor. In court cases, such agreements and filing in Copyright office, comes as a great relief to the assignees or transferee.
Below given Copyright Assignment Form template will guide you, when you formulate such agreements for your own use:
Copyright Assignment Form
1. This is an assignment from the author/writer to the__________________, and to _______successors and assigns, of the entire right, title and interest in and to:
1.the copyright to Author/Writer’s contribution (hereafter referred to as the __________-__" and which is more specifically defined below) to the work provisionally titled "____________________" (hereafter, "the Work");
2. any registrations and copyright applications, along with any renewals and extensions thereof, relating to the Contribution or the Work;
3. all works/texts based upon, derived from, or incorporating the Contribution;
4. all income, royalties, damages, claims and payments now or hereafter due or payable with respect to the Contribution or the Work;
5. all causes of action, either in law or in equity, for past, present, or future infringement of copyright related to the Work, and
6. all rights corresponding to any of the foregoing, throughout the world.
2. The Author/Writer’s Contribution consists of co-authorship/writers of the Work. The other co-authors/writers are
_____________________, _____________________ & ___________________.
3. This Assignment includes the assignment of all rights, including copyright, to any modifications or other alterations to the Work/Text or the Contribution that the Author/Writer makes under this Agreement or any other agreement between the Author/Writer and _____________.
4. The Author/Writer’s signature on this Agreement is the Author/Writer’s representation and warranty that:
a. the Author/Writer is the sole author/writer and sole proprietor of all rights in and to the Contribution;
b. the Contribution is original and contains no material from other copyrighted or unpublished works unless it is used with the written consent of the copyright owner and of the owner of any other right(s) to or in such other works;
c. the Contribution does not violate or infringe any personal or property rights of others, whether common law or statutory
d. the Contribution contains nothing libelous or contrary to law; and
e. the Author has full power and authority to enter this Agreement.
5. In consideration for the Author/writer’s assignment of rights in this Agreement, ____will provide appropriate attribution (the form of which is in _____’s sole discretion) for the Author/writer’s creation of the Contribution if and when the Work is distributed or sold.
6. In addition, to the extent any applicable law or treaty prohibits the transfer or assignment of any moral rights or rights of restraint the Author/Writer has in the Work or the Contribution, the Author waives those rights as to __________, its successors, licensees or assigns.
READ THIS ENTIRE DOCUMENT CAREFULLY; IT IS A RELEASE AND ASSIGNMENT OF YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.
ACCEPTED AND AGREED TO:
An assignment of copyright is an agreement where the author of a work transfers all or a portion of his/her rights in the copyright in the work to another party. This form is designed for the transfer of all of the exclusive rights in the work, meaning that the author, after executing the assignment, will no longer have any rights in and to the copyright of the work or any other rights related to the work.