Legal Relations Of The Copyright Act

1209 Words Nov 23rd, 2015 5 Pages
Glynn claims that he is joint owner of the copyright to RUST under the Copyright Act and seeks a declaratory judgment under the Declaratory Judgment Act. Facepunch argues that Glynn has pled that claim with insufficient particularity. Facepunch also argues that the first contract between Facepunch and Glynn shows that Facepunch did not intend for Glynn to have any ownership interest in RUST. Under the Declaratory Judgment Act, the court may “declare the rights and other legal relations of any interested party seeking such declaration.” Federal district courts are well-situated to hear disputes where a plaintiff seeks a declaration of copyright ownership pursuant to the Copyright Act. Section 101 of the Copyright Act defines a “joint work” as a “work prepared by two or more authors with the intention that their contributions be merged into inseparable or interdependent parts of a unitary whole.” Authors who create a joint work are co-owners of the copyright in that work. Each author has “an independent right to use or license the use of a work, subject to a duty of accounting to the co-owners for any profits.” While a regular employee has no ownership interest in the work he creates for his employer, an independent contractor generally has such an interest. An independent contractor may relinquish this interest if the parties “expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire.” To establish joint…
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