who owns copyright?

UPDATED: Oct 23, 2017

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who owns copyright?

If professor writes his textbook, who owns its copyright? professor or university considering work-for-hire

Asked on October 23, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New Hampshire


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If he wrote it as part of his job, the university (e.g. if he wrote it for the class he is teaching): anything created while an employee is a work-made-for-hire and belongs to the employer. It would also belong to the school if he used school resources to create it (e.g. student help; school-funded research or school equiptment); the use of their resources gives them an interest in it.
If he did not write it for the class he is teaching and did not use school resources, he would own the rights to since it would not be a work-made-for-hire (not all things made while employed belong to the employer: only those things which are part of the employee's job or which are created with employer resources), unless he had signed some written agreement with the school, which agreement, by its terms, gives them the copyright; such an agreement would be legal and enforceable.

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