Download an attorney-drafted Assignment of Copyright Agreement today.
Unless you had an assignment of copyright provision in the agreement with your freelancer or independent contractor, it is likely you do not own the copyright rights to your website, blog, graphics, content or software you created.
- Free technical support
- Easy to edit word document
Our disclaimers and policies are drafted by attorneys to help keep you in compliance with the laws that govern websites and blogs. You have immediate access to all documents after ordering. See ordering options at bottom of the page. Questions? Call 1-800-524-7116 from 9:00am - 7:00pm CST (Mon – Sat).
Having a website is vital even to small businesses today. The problem for small-business owners is the company rarely has the staff with technical experience to create a website and write the content. Thus, they hire a freelancer to take on the work. According to US copyright law, however, your website may be the creative property of the freelancer and not you, regardless of the price tag.
This law applies to your website and blog content, photos, graphics, articles, and even coded software. So what’s the big deal for your business if the freelancer retains the copyright? It gives them the right to distribute, modify, or reproduce the finished product.
Therefore, you may not even be legally able to edit the content without infringing on the copyright. You may not be able to sell the finished software or app that was coded for you by a freelancer, or even distribute it for free to your employees.
The solution to this problem is to use an “assignment of copyright agreement.” Don’t worry if your freelancer has never heard of this. Most don’t even know that what they write, code, or design is their own intellectual property and never bother the companies they freelance for. But you want to be protected, and that’s what this agreement is for.
The US Copyright Protection Act protects creative works in various categories. This includes works of literature, music, and drama. It also includes choreography and various types of artwork. Audio, video, and architectural designs are also covered. When such works are created, they are automatically protected even if the materials are never published.
Of course, if work is “made for hire” that is a different story. But most employers don’t realize that the work of freelancers often does not meet the qualifications of being “made for hire.” First, this is because freelancers are not company employees.
Even if the work is commissioned, it only becomes the property of the payer if it qualifies in certain categories such as being part of a compilation, a test or test answer key, an audiovisual work, a supplemental work, a translation, or an atlas. If the work doesn’t fall into these categories, then the freelancer still retains copyright ownership even if the two of you have agreed otherwise.
That’s why an “assignment of copyright agreement” is so important. It is a legal document by which the freelancer signs over copyright ownership to you. It’s even a good practice to include such a clause in contracts with employees and independent contractors, so there is no confusion later about the scope of work.
An assignment of copyright is a small expense that will protect your created products.
How to Order
Fast and easy checkout. Our attorney-drafted Assignment of Copyright Agreement is ready for immediate download. Free technical support is available 7 days a week. Have questions? Call (800)-524-7116 between 9am and 7pm CST.
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