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Work for Hire

Work for hire is a special term used in the Copyright Act. Normally, when a person or group creates a copyrightable work, whether a song or a computer program or a sculpture, the person or persons creating the work have a copyright in the work. Thus, the creators can exploit the work and receive money for their creative energies. A work for hire is when a person creates a copyrightable work but does not own it. The Copyright Act allows for the copyright to go not to the creator but to the person who hired the creator to make the work. The law treats the creator as if he did not even participate. The employer owns the copyright and it is as if they created the work themselves without any help from the actual creator.

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