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Copyrights - The Copyright Holder

In general, only the creator of an original work (or a person which has lawfully been transferred the copyright) can register the copyright.

Work for Hire

However, if the author prepared the work within the scope of his or her employment, or if the work was specially ordered or commissioned in some circumstances, then the work is considered a "work for hire" and the employer or commissioning party is considered to be the author.

Co-Ownership

The authors of a joint work are co-owners of the copyright, unless there is an agreement to the contrary. Copyright in each separate contribution to a periodical or other collective work is distinct from copyright in the collective work as a whole and vests initially with the author of the contribution.

Miscellaneous

It should be noted that mere ownership of a book, manuscript, painting, or any other copy or record does not give the possessor the copyright. The law provides that a mere transfer of ownership does not automatically transfer rights in the copyright. Minors may claim copyright, but state laws may regulate the business dealings involving copyrights owned by minors.

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