Our regularly scheduled class will be snow delayed. The winter fun has altered my travel plans which has in turn pushed this blog post back a day or two. I should be able to get the class up by Saturday night or Sunday at the latest.
Once I post it, we will be talking about two special types of authorship under US copyright law: Joint Authorship and Work for Hire. The cases we will be reading are Childress v. Taylor and CCNV v. Reid, in case you want to get a head start.
2 responses to “Copyright Class 5 – Snow Delay”
This is an intriguing subject. I am ready with two questions: (1) What if I pay someone on an oral contract to spruce up the grammar, punctuation, and style of my novel? How do I defend myself when he comes back with the claim he was, not an editor, but a co-author and entitled to royalties? (2)
What about screenplays? Have you heard of the 60% rule? Is there some
Good questions, Alan.
(1) As we will see, the gist of Childress v. Taylor is that each contributor must intend to be joint authors. An editor is a classic example of someone who contributes but is not a joint author.
(2) That rule is not a legal rule, rather it is an extra-legal arrangement enforced through broad participation in the Writer’s Guild of America. The 60% rule speaks to who receives credit for a screenplay; it is not a rule of copyright law. Once you get into Hollywood and screenplays, a lot of what happens is set by what are essentially union rules.