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Copy of International Intellectual Property: Authorship and "Works for Hire" -- Comparative Law

Indian Law

Primary Law:

Copyright Act, 1957 (as last amended by Act No. 49 of 1999)


Secondary Sources:

Introduction to Indian Copyright (general background information)

India Handbook of Copyright



Article 2 (definitions section) defines "authors".

Chapter IV of the Act deals with ownership of copyright and the economic/exploitation rights of the owner.



"Contract of Service" means employment contract. 

"Contract for Service" is similar to the American independent contractor relationship. 

In India, "moral rights" are called "author's special rights" and can be found in a separate article under that phrase.

EU Directives

European Commission Directive on Software: Directive 2009/24/EC


Directive 2009/24/EC replaces an earlier 1991 directive that had been the first copyright measure adopted in the European Economic Union aimed toward the creation of a single market. The objective of the Directive is to harmonize Member States' legislation regarding the protection of computer programmes in order to create a legal environment which will afford a degree of security against unauthorized reproduction of such programmes.


Primary Law:

German Copyright Act (in its structure of divisions, with links to particular sections). The translation includes the amendment(s) to the Act by Article 8 of the Act of 1.10.2013 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 3714). Full text (in expanded form).


Explanation of Terms/Sections:

Germany does not use the term "works for hire". It generally will use the term "Employment" or "service" to refer to issues of ownership of copyright in the context of employment. Germany also does not refer to "software" but rather to "computer programs". 

The term "mutatis mutandis," used occasionally in the German law, means "apply the same principle to another situation, but with any minor differences necessary to apply it."

Article 7 of the Copyright Act provides information about authorship. Article 10 provides the presumption of copyright authorship.

Division 4, subdivision 2 of the Act concerns moral rights. Division 4, subdivision 3 of the Act concerns "exploitation rights" (which your casebook and our power points refer to as "economic rights").

Article 29 governs copyright transfers.

Article 31 governs grants of rights of use (i.e. licenses or permissions to use).

Articles 32-35, 37, and 39-42 deal with author's rights when the author grants rights of use.

Article 43 provides the general rule concerning authorship in the context of employment.   

Section VIII (Article 69a-69g) provides the special provisions concerning computer programs. 

United States

Primary Law


Definitions, 17 U.S.C. § 101


Ownership of Copyright, 17 U.S.C. § 201