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  • Help with careers and intellectual property

    Okay, so I'm currently in a period where I can't decide what to do with my life (my family has the curse of changing majors 10 million times before graduation). I'm really creative, so I'm thinking of looking at stuff in creative industries. But I have one paranoia- I have heard of some jerk companies who want to lay claim to any intellectual property their employees produce, even if it's on their own time. I'm a writer, and the idea of someone else owning my stories is abhorent. My brain thinks that the further away I stay from artsy careers, the less chance of my stories getting owned by my potential employers. Is this a valid concern? Do employers in creative industries (or other industries) usually try to do that? Or are those kinds of employers really rare and I'm just being my paranoid OCD self? One of the reasons I'm so paranoid about this was I heard Tim Burton came up with his Nightmare poem while working for Disney, and they owned the rights to it.
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  • #2
    Re: Help with careers and intellectual property

    ^I think Micechat owns that post now. I wish I could give you some advice, but I'm not sure how it works with intellectual properties.

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    • #3
      Re: Help with careers and intellectual property

      This is a really great site for this:
      What is Intellectual Property?

      Creative works fall under copyrights rather than Industrial Property so click that link and read about it.

      Basically, if you use a companies resources (computer, time, office) then they could legally claim rights to royalties (under current law). As long as you do it on your own time, in your own space or public space, then you own the rights to the work.

      If it is something you intend to publish or that you simply do not want others to use... file with the US Copyright Office online (U.S. Copyright Office - Online Services (eCO: Electronic Copyright Office)). There is $35 fee, but it is a legal copyright recording.

      There is also a "poor man's" method, but there is no provision in law that makes it legal, though it could possibly hold up in court...

      Simply send the work to yourself by registered mail. Either on CD or actually printed out. Registered mail is transmitted under very tight security and is date and time verifiable. When you receive this, do NOT open it. Leave it sealed. If you ever had to go to court you could produce it as evidence. It would have an official US Government date stamp from the USPS on it and would contain your original work. Opened for the first time in the presence of a legal court. It isn't included in the US copyright code, but the government seals and stamps and all would hold some weight if you simply can not afford the $35 fee.

      As long as you did not work on it using the resources of any company or in the commission of a 3rd party, no one can claim royalties or rights to it.

      Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

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