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!SOLD OUT! Protecting Intellectual Property Rights in a Work-Made-for-Hire Economy: Important considerations for artists, creative freelancers, employees and employers

  • Tuesday, June 24, 2014
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Wells Fargo Building, 2140 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704
  • 17


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Protecting Intellectual Property Rights in a Work-Made-for-Hire Economy: Important considerations for artists, creative freelancers, employees and employers

with James Marion, Esq.

Program Description:

Copyright Law protects a work from the time it is created in a fixed form.  From the moment it is set in print, a sound recording, a software program or any other concrete medium, the copyright becomes the property of the author who created it.  BUT, there is an exception to this rule!  The “work-made-for-hire” doctrine.  When you create work-made-for-hire, your employer is considered the author, and therefore the owner of that intellectual property, despite the fact that you are the one doing the creating.  This rule applies for full-time employees, as well as for creators commissioned specifically to contribute to certain projects.  On the flipside of the coin, employers wishing to hire freelancers for a creative project must enter into written work-for-hire agreements to obtain rights to the works they are paying for.

This workshop will provide a guideline for identifying situations where creators are considered “employees” or “independent contractors” under the work-made-for-hire doctrine.  It will also address practical and contractual solutions to the work-made-for-hire rule, and highlight important aspects of the written agreements associated with these employer/employee scenarios in specific creative industries.

  • Intellectual Property Overview: Common Work-for-Hire Contracting Scenarios involving TM, Copyright and Patent and the author’s/employer’s basic rights

  • Defining the Work-for-Hire Scenario: Reviewing scope of employment and the nine subcategories of commissioned work

  • Examining case examples of the above, and identifying the need for transfer or assignment of rights agreements: troubleshooting common pitfalls

  • Contract Details: Language to include and to look out for in work-made-for-hire agreements

  • Industry Applications

About the Presenter:

James Marion is a San Francisco-based attorney specializing in intellectual property and entertainment law, business formation and other transactions.  He is also the President/Head Writer at Greenlitscripts (, which provides content and consulting services to a variety of media professionals and outlets.

James is an 8-year veteran of the independent film business, and has had the privilege of working on numerous films, including several Oscar-winning/nominated documentaries while working as Creative Executive at The Film Sales Company in Manhattan. He is a freelance writer and professional screenwriter, and has an intimate knowledge of independent film development, sales and distribution.



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The information provided on this website is not legal advice. You should consult with an attorney for individual advice regarding your legal matters.

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