Work Made For Hire

Definition - What does Work Made For Hire mean?

A work made for hire is an original work that does not qualify for copyright protection due to the fact that it was created by an employee for an employer. In such circumstances, the employer, and not the employee, owns the copyright for the work made for hire. This is an important distinction in copyright law.

Justipedia explains Work Made For Hire

Often, employers will inform employees when they take the job that the work they do for the company will be owned by the company. So, when employees complete original work under such circumstances, they do not possess copyright protection for the work that they do for the company.

For example, an online magazine may only hire writers under the condition that the magazine owns the right to their works that are produced for the magazine. This prevents the employees from selling their articles to other magazines or from trying to profit from them independently. The writers could still do work outside of the company, and would own the copyrights for the work that they do independently.

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