Computers and the Law: Paper 2

Essay by hiphoplovaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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Dear Dewey,

The first issue that must be addressed is ownership of the copyright in the Church's home page. Ownership of a copyright initially belongs to the author or authors of the work. The author is generally the individual who created the work with an exception for "works made for hire." There are two ways in which a work made for hire can take place. The first way in which a work can be defined as a work made for hire is when an employee within the scope of his or her employment creates the work. The second way is when the hiring party commissions an independent contractor to create a specially ordered work such as a contribution to a collective work, a part on a motion picture, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation, an instructional text, a test, answer materials for a test, or an atlas. For these types of works, the hiring party and the independent contractor creating the work must agree in writing to designate the work as a work made for hire.

Although, Phool constructed the webpage in question on a computer system purchased by the Church specifically for the project, located conveniently at the Church's office, it is highly unlikely that web page design falls inside of Phool's scope of employment as a packer for the Church's shipping department therefore it is unlikely that the courts will rule that the Church's webpage constitutes a work made for hire. Secondly, if the courts determine that the web page constitutes a compilation and falls within the category of a "specially ordered work," the court must be shown evidence that a written agreement was made between the Church and Phool that the work in question was to be designated as a work made for hire. And if...