“Sometimes the questions are complicated but the answers are simple.”Dr. Seuss
Most people tend to shy away from the legal side of the creative arena because it all seems a bit too complicated. However, even as these creative works are made, most often than not, the creators of these works will seek to sell them. This establishes a need to protect them from manipulation or other people trying to profit from their work without permission and, this is where copyright comes in.
The most important thing to note is that for the creator to get protection under copyright law it is the physical expression of the idea that counts – scripts, photographs, storyboards. The idea must materialize into something tangible.
The creator can also give another person the rights to their work and essentially give them permission to use his or her work for a defined period of time.
Finally, there are situations when the creator is paid to make something and in such instances, the creator is not the owner. The person paying for the work to be created is the owner – this is referred to as “work for hire”. The moment you as a creator are paid to create, ownership shifts.
Cover image by PICHA Contributor Mohamed Abdulrahman Photography