Joint or Co-Ownership in Copyright and Protecting IP Rights: Assignment, Licensing, Transfer and Standing to Sue

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

Conducted on Thursday, September 6, 2018

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This webinar will examine co-ownership of copyright, discuss the impact of recent federal appellate court decisions, and offer best practices to protect ownership rights.


With the advent of new technologies which make collaboration essential to create many works such as business software or online games to more traditional works such as screenplays which are often the work of many writers, it is not easy to identify who is a copyright claimant.

The matter can become even more complicated when dealing with works made for hire since the test applied to determine when a work made by a non-employee is a work for hire is very different under the 1909 and 1976 Act. And on top of all this, the current scheme for Copyright Registration and recordation makes it difficult to track the chain of title for many works.

Often times even the most important works are created without adequate documentation. Because the law on copyright ownership is complex and often non-intuitive, many assumptions by persons outside the copyright bar are simply wrong.

Issues with copyright ownership can lead to even larger problems. Joint copyright owners are each authorized to license the work as they deem fit. Copyright ownership also impacts standing to sue and many other areas.

In this presentation, our expert panel will ask if it is possible to avoid these issues or if they are simply embedded into this area of practice. We will then explore some of the recent case law addressing how ownership vests and what rights flow from that ownership. We will examine the creative ways one can use copyright licensing and provide best practice tips for copyright due diligence.



  1. Vesting of Copyright
    1. Work for Hire
  2. Co-ownership in copyright
    1. Assignment rights
    2. Transfer rights
    3. Standing to sue for infringemen 
  3. Searching for Copyright Records
  4. Copyright Act and court treatment
    1. Copyright Act
    2. Recent decision
  5. Best practices


The panel will review these and other relevant questions:

  • What happens when a subdivided interest in a copyright is itself co-owned?
  • What rights do each co-owner have in the copyright?
  • What steps should counsel and copyright owners take to protect the copyright interest?


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

Feingold, Stephen
Stephen Feingold

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

Mr. Feingold's practice focuses on trademark, copyright, advertising and Internet matters. He has handled complex...  |  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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