Copyright can be used as a tool to assert and protect one of the key assets of your business. Copyright is the part of intellectual property law that protects literary and artistic works, such as music, books, paintings and computer programs. Copyright consists of both a so-called moral and an economic right. The moral right includes the author’s right to be mentioned as the creator when the work is made available and the right to the integrity of the work. The economic right includes the right to reproduce the work and the right to make the work available to the public. The economic rights may be transferred in full. The author can, therefore, choose to license the work or otherwise assign the copyright in full to a third party. In some situations, it is important to consider the relationship of the author and the owner of the economic right. This is especially true in employer/employee relationships or in consultancy agreements. In Europe, copyright is generally not automatically transferred from the employee to the employer, other than under specific circumstances. Therefore, it might be useful to have an assignment agreement (often assignment is dealt with in the employment agreement) to clarify the ownership of the copyright in these situations. Likewise, in a consultancy agreement, the assignment of copyright is a crucial factor that needs to be considered.
For more information, please contact David Leffler.