Small Business and Copyright Ownership

25 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2010 Last revised: 8 Nov 2015

See all articles by Niels Schaumann

Niels Schaumann

California Western School of Law

Date Written: 1996


This article attempts to facilitate the recognition of situations involving copyright and the appropriate arrangements regarding ownership of the right. Part II briefly outlines some copyright basics, including the varieties of copyrightable subject matter under the Copyright Act of 1976. Part III describes copyright ownership, focusing on the kinds of transactions most likely to take place in the context of small business, including the “work for hire” doctrine. Armed with these fundamentals, the small-business lawyer may find that copyright litigation will rarely become necessary.

Keywords: Copyright law, small businesses, intellectual property, copyright registration, work-for-hire doctrine, authorship, creative work

Suggested Citation

Schaumann, Niels B., Small Business and Copyright Ownership (1996). William Mitchell Law Review, Vol. 22, 1996, William Mitchell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1996-02, Available at SSRN:

Niels B. Schaumann (Contact Author)

California Western School of Law ( email )

225 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101
United States
6195251405 (Phone)


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