I need to provide copywrite protection to a series of documents written by my former colleagues in a military unit. We asked everyone to share stories and bios for a recent reunion and collected over 100 typed pages.
The decision about what type of entity to form depends on many factors, since documents registered for copyright can be held in the name of a corporation or an LLC or a partnership.
Do you want all the former colleagues to have ownership and control of the entity? Do you want them to be limited partners, with you in control, as general partner? Will there be profit sharing? Health insurance? The need for these features determine the best choice.
You should see a business lawyer, who know how to register works for copyright, before moving forward.
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First, I think you will want to protect the entire collection instead of registering copyrights on each individual submission. Second, if you expect to sell copies of the compilation, you definitely want to form a company, which will protect your personal assets from the companies assets. Incorporating is more formal, requiring a board of directors, a little more expensive to register, but offers some tax advantages over an LLC. Both would work in the situation you described. The formation of the company should include all aspects of the agreements between everyone in the unit. Ownership, management, etc. For this I urge you to hire a business attorney or copyright attorney to help insure no one is ever surprised or upset and all expectations are memorialized in writing.
Peace be with you, and may love guide you.
There are a couple of different issues to address in your question. First, are you agreed to put all of the works together into one work and share the copyright? Copyright originally resides with the author of the work, and does not need to be registered. Registration is used to show authorship and ownership as well as to protect the rights granted to the author and/or owner. The second question is what you plan to do with the work. If you plan to publish, sell or use them in some commercial way, then you will want to register the work(s) and decide upon the approach to exploitation. LLCs and Corporations are entities that require cost to set up and maintain, each with its distinct advantages and disadvantages, as well as obligations for those involved. There are also other approaches that might make sense depending upon what you plan to do with the work.
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