Under the Copyright Act, a work made for hire is:
"1) A work prepared by an employee within the scope of his/her employment; or
2) A work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as a part of a mo-tion picture or other audiovisual work, as a translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an atlas, if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire."
See 17 U.S.C. §101.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
Under copyright law, a work created by an employee within the scope of employment, or a commissioned work that falls within certain categories and is the subject of a written agreement. When a work is made for hire, the hiring party is considered the author and owner, not the person who creates the work. This status -- that is, whether a work is made for hire -- affects the length of copyright protection and termination rights.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:27 pm