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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 38906
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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If a person is a member of an LLC in Florida...and he passes

Customer Question

if a person is a member of an LLC in Florida...and he passes away ... does the copyright that was obtained belong in any part to the heirs of the deceased managing member
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
The answer to your question depends on whether or not the work covered by the copyright was originally created for the LLC -- or for the individual member. The presumption is that the name registered as owner with the U.S. Copyright Office is the owner. So, if that name is ***** ***** then the member's heirs inherit, assuming that the remaining LLC members don't challenge the registration in court.
On the other hand, if the LLC is the registered owner of the copyright, then it's up to the heirs of the deceased member to challenge the LLC's ownership in court.
The test of whether or not a creative work is a "work made for hire," rather than the property of the original creator, depends on a multi-factor test. Only a court can make the determination. However, there is a thorough discussion of the criteria avaiable in U.S. Copyright Office Circular 9.
Also, dependent upon the type of work, it may not be eligible for treatment as a work made for hire. Instead, the work must be expresslly assigned by the creator to the LLC. This issue is also covered in Circular 9.
It's definitely a difficult question. If you need further assistance with this, we may have to take it offline, so that you can apprise me of all of the details.
I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.
Thanks again for using!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Okay, but so that I don't make the same mistake in the future, would you please be so kind as to explain why my answer is so completely unsatisfactory. That would be a great help to me.
Thanks in advance.

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