Overview

Overview of the Tool

The tool is designed to educate users on copyright laws about termination of transfer by roughly estimating, based on hypothetical scenarios, when works are and are not eligible for termination.

The tool is divided into two sections:

Section 1 – Information about a work.

Information requested in this section:

  • When the work was created.
  • Whether the work’s copyright was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
  • When the work was published.
  • When the agreement was entered into.
  • Whether the agreement included the right of publication.

Section 2 – Information about a work’s eligibility for termination.

Information requested in this section:

We have compiled some hints and tips about where the information needed to complete the tool is commonly found. However, the tool is designed to provide educational information even without a full set of details. Feel free to run through it multiple times with different inputs; it should take less than ten minutes to complete any one scenario. Repeated sessions with different inputs will reveal more intricacies about how the termination of transfer process works. The tool does not record sessions.

To help increase understanding and to enable better answers to the questions, the tool includes links connected to some of the more complex terms or terms with legal meanings. We have also prepared a glossary to assist in understanding some of the more complex terms used in this tool.

After a user runs a hypothetical scenario through the tool, the output from the tool indicates whether a work with the characteristics a user provides may be eligible for termination and, if so, the tool provides an estimate of the notice and termination window dates. Users should note that the result might be different if the situation and inputs were reviewed by licensed legal counsel.

For some works, termination is simply not available. The window may have passed, or it might be too far in the future, or the circumstances of the work’s creation might put it beyond the law’s scope. In these instances, there may be other options for reclaiming (or obtaining) rights. A good starting place is the Authors Alliance guide to Understanding Rights Reversion, which walks through the process of using contractual terms and non-contractual negotiating tactics to get rights back without a termination right.

Changes in circumstances over time can change what termination options are available. Users can seek licensed legal counsel for advice as to whether a termination right actually exists for any work in question.

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