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Artist's Copyright FAQ: What is Work for Hire?


Question: Artist's Copyright FAQ: What is Work for Hire?
Answer: Under US law, if you are employed by a company as an artist, copyright in your work belongs to your employer, not you, unless you have signed an agreement to the contrary. This is because you are 'working for hire'.

If you are a freelance artist, the situation is reversed. Copyright remains yours, unless the company which commissions you gets you to sign over copyright or sign a 'work for hire' agreement.

See this Sample Work for Hire Agreement and this Work for Hire FAQ from the US Copyright Office.

Go to Full Artist's Copyright FAQ.

Disclaimer: The information given here is based on US copyright law and is given for guidance only; you're advised to consult a copyright lawyer on copyright issues.

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