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Who is an author? Who owns copyright?

Under Section 3 (Interpretation) of the Copyright Act 1987, an author
  1. in relation to literary works, means the writer or the maker of the works;

  2. in relation to musical works, means the composer;

  3. in relation to artistic works other than photographs, means the artist;

  4. in relation to photographs, means the person by whom the arrangements for the taking of the photographs were undertaken;

  5. in relation to films or sound recordings, means the person by whom the arrangements for the making of the film or recording were undertaken;

  6. in relation to broadcasts transmitted from within any country, means -
    1. the person transmitting the programme, if he has responsibility for the selection of its contents; or

    2. any person providing the programme who makes with the person transmitting it the arrangements necessary for its transmission;

  7. in relation to any other cases, means the person by whom the work was made;


A copyright is a work vests initially in the author (writer, composer, maker of the work, etc.).

However, where the making of a work is commissioned or where a work is made by and employee in the course of his employment, unless there is any contrary agreement, the copyright in the work shall be deemed to vest in the person who commissioned the work or the employer.

The author's right is transferable by assignment testamentary disposition or by operation of law, in which case the assignee shall be the owner.

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Knowledge Base ID :   1369
Last Reviewed :   May 24, 2014
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