Work Made for Hire
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Two Situations Where Work Made for Hire Applies
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There are only two situations in which a "work for made for hire" can exist. They are works created:

(1) by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or

(2) by an independent contractor in 1 of the 9 following situations:
  1. as a part of a motion picture
  2. as a part of other audiovisual work,
  3. as a translation,
  4. as a supplementary work,
  5. as a compilation,
  6. as an instructional text,
  7. as a test,
  8. as answer material for a test, or
  9. as an atlas.
Many questions arise under "works made for hire," including whether an individual meets the definition of an "employee" or "independent contractor," or whether other works besides the 9 listed can ever be considered a "work made for hire" by independent contractors. For example, could an employer and an independent contractor agree that the independent contractor write a novel for the employer as a "work made for hire?" Answer: No. Why? Because a novel does not fall into 1 of the 9 categories listed above. So, how could an employer own the copyright of a novel created by an independent contractor? We’ll discuss this in the following sections.

Next, we’ll go over how a work is made for hire by an employee for his or her employer.