Debates have popped into court over who actually owns a copyright.So like any other contract, an assignment must be in writing in order to avoid any future confusion.
One of the automatic perks you receive when your creative work is fixed in a tangible form of expression is a bundle of exclusive rights, courtesy of the U. The copyright owner, and only the copyright owner, has the right to use those exclusive rights unless a copyright transfer or permission has been granted to someone else.
A copyright provides the owner the exclusive rights to reproduce the work, distribute copies of the work, prepare derivative works based on the work, and publicly perform and display the work.
A copyright assignment is when the copyright holder transfers ownership of the copyright to another person or organization.
The copyright holder is normally the person who created the work, but they may decide to sign the agreement over to a publisher (in the book industry or music industry) or record label (in the music industry).
For this reason, it may be a good idea to contact an experienced intellectual property attorney in your area to help you with a transfer of copyright agreement.
For more information and resources related to this topic, you can visit Find Law's section on Intellectual Property, including a subsection on Copyrights.
The downside of assigning your copyright over to a publisher is that you receive only a cut of what you would have received if you retained the copyright, and you may also lose some creative control.
For instance, the decision over whether to turn your book into a movie may now rest with the publisher and not you.
An alternative of transferring the entire copyright over to a publisher is licensing the work to them in a limited capacity.
In this instance, you retain the copyright, but you also get the business advantages from the publisher.