Like patents, copyright protection was one of the important concepts included by
the framers of our country in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.  The purpose of
the copyright laws is to encourage the development of creative-types of works by
providing a mechanism for the creator of the work to prevent others from copying,
distributing, modifying and adapting his or her work without permission.  

   The primary concern with copyright law for many companies is the use of works
that are created by other persons.  For instance, when someone other than you or  
outside of your company, such as an independent contractor or other non-employee,
takes photographs, prepares written materials or creates other copyrighted works, it is
imperative that you or your company obtain written permission (at least) of that person
to use the work before it is included in published materials.  In certain circumstances,
the permission to use the work can be considered to be implied in the way in which the
work was created or provided to you or  your company.  As an example, if you hire a
photographer to take a picture of a product for your catalog, it is generally implied that
you can utilize the picture in the catalog (basically an implied license).  However,
absent a clear transfer, the legal ownership of the copyright to the work will remain
with the photographer such that the photographer can utilize the picture in any way he
or she wants and you are limited in the way in which you can utilize the picture.  If a
copyrightable work created by someone outside of your company is of the type that
you should control its use and dissemination or desire to have unlimited use of the
work, then the copyright to the work (not just the work itself) should be transferred to
you or your company.  Very specific written contractual language is required in order
to accomplish this result.