Haynes and Boone's Newsroom
"Turn in Your Homework Please" - Copyright Law's Work for Hire Doctrine in a 24/7 World
Donald D. Jackson
Employees increasingly perform work-related tasks away from a traditional office, at times outside traditional office hours, using a computer and software that they pay for themselves, often with no additional compensation. When an innovative copyrightable work is created at home by an employee, this could lead to disputes over whether the work was created within the scope of employment and who owns the copyright in the work. This presentation examines the issue and discusses several cases, some of which hold in favor of the employee and others that hold in favor of the employer, and suggests proactive steps to minimize the chance of a dispute.