Serving the Creative Arts Community Since 1974


M-F: 10 AM - 5 PM


(888) 775-8995



!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


Registration is closed

SAVE $5 - Register Online 
SAVE $10 - Join CLA BEFORE registration for Member Price

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.


California Lawyers for the Arts is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit and your donation is tax deductible as a charitable contribution to the fullest extent of the law. 

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

Copyright © 2018. California Lawyers for the Arts. All Rights Reserved. 

Terms of Service

Privacy Policy

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software