Legal Question in Intellectual Property in New York
Who should own the rights to the video game I've created:
Me as an individual, or my SMLLC "studio" created to distribute it?
Briefly, why is your recommended situation superior to the alternative?
Must my copyright be registered before I can legally transfer (or license) it?
My humble thanks for your time and generosity,
2 Answers from Attorneys
Generally speaking, to maintain limited liability protections, facilitate proper tax deductions and enable the company to be invested in or sold, down the road, the assets should be owned by the company. Future investors and/or buyers would expect nothing less from the founders/owners than to transfer all their individual IP rights and ownership to the company.
There are exceptions to the above and those depend on individual circumstances and would require a chat. You can always ping me directly.
Roman R. Fichman, Esq.
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There is no "one-way" to approach this. It depends on a number of factors. For example, maybe it makes sense to own the IP personally then license it to an operating entity that commercializes it.
As far as the copyright goes, any creative expression will be covered by copyright law automatically. Then you register the work with the US Copyright Office so to perfect your bundle of federal rights like the right to access the courts, the right to ask for statutory damages (sometimes the only damages worth bringing the case over), the right to attorney fees, etc.
If you would like to discuss further over a free phone consult, feel free to contact me anytime that is convenient.
Our firm is now referred by the American Bar Association (see under the New York section):
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.