What is a work made for hire?

By Andrew Hudson Published: August 14, 2012 Updated: October 24, 2013

This is artwork that is commissioned or created by an employee, where the commissioner or employer owns the copyright, not the artist.

“Although the general rule is that the person who creates the work is its author, there is an exception to that principle. The exception is a work made for hire, which is a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment or a work specially ordered or commissioned in certain specified circumstances. When a work qualifies as a work made for hire, the employer, or commissioning party, is considered to be the author.”
U.S. Copyright Office

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