Joint Authorship, Joint Work

A copyrighted work created by more than one author in which the authors’ contributions cannot be segregated. In such a work ownership of copyright depends on the relationship between the authors and the work:

  • If they are employees, the copyright usually vests in the employer (subject to shop-right
  • If they are independent, ownership depends on the agreement between the authors, or absent an agreement is typically joint and shared.

This latter situation can be problematic, as, in some jurisdictions, joint ownership means that the authors can each exploit the work as they wish, while in others, notably France and Germany, the consent of all joint owners is required to any copyright license.