Re: Copyright

Subject: Re: Copyright
From: Kent Newton <KentN -at- METRIX-INC -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 1996 08:59:00 PST

On Thursday, February 08, 1996 8:04 AM, Michael Andrew Uhl wrote:
>Paul Cheverie <paul -dot- cheverie -at- gpo -dot- canada -dot- cdev -dot- com> wrote

>>It's the same thing as a
>>client coming to you and contracting you to write a user's manual for
>>his/her widget. Probably the simplest way of saying it is that if the
>>ain't yours, neither is the copyright.

>Richard replied

>>This is incorrect. ...RM

>Richard had it right: you cannot copyright an idea only the specific
>expression of an idea.

>Official copyright information is available at


>Ghost writer or not, the author retains copyright privileges until
>he or she legally transfers ownership.


According to Circular 1, Copyright Basics, from the Copyright Office,
Library of Congress, the author does not retain copyright for work for
hire, which, according to Section 101 of the copyright statute, is
defined as:

1) a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her
employment; or

2) a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contributino to
a collective work, as a part of a motion picture or other audio visual
work, as a translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an
instructional text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an
atlas, if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by
them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire....

If the article that is being ghost written is to appear in a collective
work (such as a professional journal), AND if the author and client both
agree in writing that the work is to be considered work for hire, then
the client holds the copyright. Barring either of those conditions, then
I have to agree with Richard and Mike. The key point: you are the client
have to agree -- in writing -- whether the work is for hire.

Kent Newton
Senior Technical Writer
Metrix, Inc.
kentn -at- metrix-inc -dot- com

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