Overview of a Copyright Assignment (Literary Works)

Essentially, a Copyright Assignment (Literary Works) is an agreement to transfer the owner’s property rights in a piece of intellectual property.  Basically, a copyright is a legal right for the copyright owner to make copies of an original work.  Typically, this can include photographs, books, music, or any other form of creative work.

Generally, for any business or creative endeavor, owning the intellectual property rights to a work is key to ongoing income and survival. Thus, ensuring that the copyright has adequate protection is paramount.

What is in a Copyright Assignment?

Parties participating in the copyright assignment.  In all assignment agreements, the assignor is the party who owns the copyright. Additionally, the assignee is the party who will be transferred the copyright.

Assignment of Works.  Whether they are photographs, literature, or any other form of creative work, the assignor must specify the copyrighted works that will be assigned.

Assignor Representation and Warranties. The assignor must warrant that the assigning works are original works. The assignor must also own the works. Additionally, the works were done independently and not as part of any other employment. Also, the work does not use any other copyrighted work.

Assignee Representation and Warranties. The assignee must warrant that they have the authority to enter the agreement. Also, they must have sufficient funds to purchase the copyright.

Purchase price. The agreed upon purchase price for the copyright transfer.

Scope of the copyright.  This includes scope of use of the copyrighted work as well as any time limitations for the use of the copyright.

When Should You Use a Copyright Assignment (Literary Works)?

A copyright assignment is a formal transfer of intellectual property rights.  If you are looking to simply allow another party to use your work, a copyright license is sufficient.


A Copyright Assignment is a formal transfer of intellectual property rights.  Protect yourself, whether you are the assignor or assignee, by using this template from the Zegal template library.

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