Copyright Termination, Work-For-Hire Doctrine Need Review

By Carolyn Martin and Ethan Barr (October 8, 2021, 4:38 PM EDT) -- On Sept. 24, the comic book publisher Marvel Characters Inc. initiated five lawsuits in California and New York federal courts, attempting to invalidate copyright termination notices sent by a former writer and the estates of several former artists.[1]

Given the historic exploitation of artists' rights by corporate behemoths, this has firmly placed copyright termination rights and the work-for-hire doctrine in the spotlight.

Both U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence and federal copyright law concerning these issues fail to properly address an economy increasingly dominated by independent contractors, and this lack of guidance has exacerbated the rift between content creators and corporations.

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