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Just Because You Wrote It Doesn’t Mean You Own the Copyright

Second post in the series, New York Employees: What Your Employer Knows and You Should Learn Now

Just Because You Wrote It Doesn’t Mean You Own the Copyright. Your employer owns the copyright in any written work you create for it. This is called the “work for hire” doctrine. If your employer wants you to sign an agreement that it owns the copyright to all your work and you like to write novels at night, be sure to write in an exception for your personal work. If you decide to write the Great American Short Story after you’ve started the job, be sure that your novella doesn’t in any way relate to your work, and if you’re unsure, get your employer’s written approval up front that the copyright will be yours.

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