Derivative Works and Copyright: Scope, Termination, Infringement, Considerations for Drafting Permissions

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will provide guidance to IP counsel on derivative works, the scope of the derivative right, termination of granted rights, and lessons from recent court decisions. The panel will also discuss copyright infringement when making/selling derivative works and the intersection with fair use. The panel will offer insights on the impact for artists and their counsel when seeking copyright protection.


Derivative works come in many forms--from the Mona Lisa with a Moustache to films based on novels like the Harry Potter series to music that samples from other songs to a new version of a computer program. Derivative works and related IP rights are complex areas of the law.

Under the Copyright Act, what constitutes a derivative work is often not clear-cut, and other doctrines, such as fair use, may impact the categorization of the work. Moreover, termination of the right to create a derivative work has its own set of implications with respect to the right to create future derivative works and continued use of any lawfully created derivative works. It is very important to understand the legal and practical consequences of derivative works rights under the Copyright Act.

Listen as our authoritative panel of IP attorneys discusses when work is derivative, the scope of the derivative right, and lessons from recent court treatment. The panel will also examine copyright infringement in making/selling derivative works. The panel will offer insight on what this means for artists and their counsel when seeking copyright protection.



  1. When a work is derivative
    1. Musical
    2. Literary
    3. Visual
    4. Others
  2. Scope of the derivative right
  3. Copyright infringement and derivative works
  4. Lessons from recent court treatment
  5. Practical considerations for drafting permissions to allow the creation of a derivative work


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Does the examination of a derivative work vary depending on the type of work--musical, software, literary?
  • How have courts treated derivative works?
  • What are the practical considerations for drafting permissions to allow the creation of a derivative work?


Dickstein, Tal
Tal Dickstein

Loeb & Loeb

Mr. Dickstein maintains a broad-based litigation practice with a concentration on intellectual property matters in the...  |  Read More

Neustadt, Daniel
Daniel C. Neustadt

Holland & Knight

Mr. Neustadt secures, protects and enforces clients' intellectual property rights in the U.S. and abroad. His...  |  Read More

Sholder, Scott
Scott J. Sholder

Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard

Mr. Sholder’s practice focuses on litigation, counseling, and dispute resolution in entertainment, media and...  |  Read More

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