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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member caploc's Avatar
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    Copyrighting code as coauthored. Devide work before starting?

    Do I understand correctly that in order to copyright a co-authored work, the co-authors must in advance, of starting on the coding, have made a written agreement stating which part of it each is to do? If so, is that line by line or what?
    Last edited by Shyflower; Aug 27, 2012 at 17:05. Reason: fixed typos at caploc's request

  2. #2
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    No, copyright law requires no such advance agreement. Here's what it actually says about works with multiple authors:

    http://www.copyright.gov/eco/help-ty...l#registration

  3. #3
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    A lot of joint ownership of copyright really depends upon the co-authors' intent. Here is a good overview of joint copyright: http://www.ivanhoffman.com/coauthors.html. Like a lot of copyright issues, disagreements that result from joint ownership of copyright most often take a judge to decide. Your best hedge against problems is to be sure you have things spelled out specifically in a signed agreement that you and your co-author establish.

    @Dan Grossman ; The link you left appears to be about collective works which is different than a single piece authored by more than one person.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  4. #4
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    I linked to the section about single works with multiple authors, not the section about collective works. This is the US Copyright Office website.

    A joint work is defined in the copyright law as a “work prepared by two or more authors with the intention that their contributions be merged into inseparable or interdependent parts of a unitary whole.” In a joint work, all authors own an undivided interest in the entire work, without the need for any transfer of rights.

  5. #5
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Grossman View Post
    I linked to the section about single works with multiple authors, not the section about collective works. This is the US Copyright Office website.
    For some reason when I click your link it resolves to: Registration of a Single Work Containing Multiple Authorship Elements by Different Authors
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown


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