Author rights are granted as soon as you create a work and fix it in some form. This means that your rights start as soon as your pen hits paper, you save your work, or hit record. Your rights fall under two categories: Economic and Moral.
Economic rights give you the right to profit off of your work, authorize reproductions, and authorizing public performance. Economic rights can be bought, sold or transferred by the author, usually via a contract. It is also known as copyright.
Moral rights are the right to be identified as the author of the work, and the right to object to any distortion of the work that alters the way the world views the author. Moral rights are perpetual and cannot be transferred except via testament when the author dies.
For the purposes of this guide, we'll talk about the Economic side of Author Rights which is represented by copyright.
When a work is co-authored, all authors are co-owners of copyright in the work. When a work is made for hire, the work is owned by the employer. Details on the ownership of work is defined in the U.S. Copyright Law, found in Title 17, Chapter 2 of the United States Code.
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