Costello Law Corporation
We Can Help You, Call Us Today
This Attorney is Lead Counsel Rated. Click here for more Information.

Can you file for a copyright? In 3 cases, you can't

A copyright is an important legal document to obtain when you have a product you want to protect. Copyrights are used for many works including computer programs, style guides, recipes, fabric designs, sculpture, literature and other items.

Bluntly put, pretty much anything you can create can be copyrighted. There are exceptions, though. Here's a little more about when you might be unable to obtain a copyright.

1. You were employed by another party

If you create a new drug, musical masterpiece or other work while employed, check your contract carefully. You may be unable to copyright the work, because you may not be the recognized owner. The owner of the company, in that case, would own the copyright.

2. You previously sold the copyright

If you previously sold a copyright, be aware that you can't just take it back. The buyer now owns it, so if you want it back, you'll have to buy it back.

3. You made a work for hire piece

When you are hired by another person who commissions a piece and you sign a work made for hire agreement, you'll lose the rights to the piece. The commissioning party obtains the copyright to the piece if it qualifies under federal law.

If your product or work falls into one of the above scenarios, you may not own it. If you're not sure, it's a good idea to look into your legal rights to the piece specifically. Our site has more information on protecting your copyright and determining if you have the rights to a work.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Us Today

To protect your valuable idea, contact our lawyers at Costello Law Corporation to set up an initial consultation. We are ready to assist you in any intellectual property issue.

Get Started

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Map & Directions

Costello Law Corporation

Costello Law Corporation
2267 Lava Ridge Court
Suite 210
Roseville, CA 95661

Phone: 916-520-3360
Fax: 916-441-4254
Map & Directions

Email Us