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  1. Here's what I found out about work for hire while registering the copyright for Ida Bell Publishing, LLC's next book, The Culinary Art Portfolio of Josephine E. Jones, where art and food intersect. The portfolio includes ready-to-frame professional color prints, which can be removed. Josephine E. Jones, now deceased, was not only possibly the first black woman in management at a Fortune 500 company, she was also a culinary artist. What's does that mean? She made food look as good as it tasted, potato salads that looked like wedding cakes, fruit platters that looked like still life paintings. Josephine E. Jones was also my mother, so we ate like this at home, too. In 1975, her work was photographed by the late John Turner for a healthy eating event that the company held for the employees. Mr. Turner was the professional photographer for Standard Brands. This is the company that made Chase & Sanborn Coffee, Royal Gelatin, and Planters Peanuts. The company is Kraft now. In 1977, the photographs were enlarged to grace the walls of the new employees' cafeteria, which was moving from the 10th to the 11th floor. Josephine was the manager of the employees' cafeteria. Her main duties were supervising and training five staff members who made lunch for around 300 people a day, ordering the food, setting the menus, and paying the vendors. That is what she was hired to do. So who has the right to register the copyright for the photos in the book? Remember, as soon as you create the art you own the copyright. All you are doing at the copyright office now is registering it, to prevent people from using it or selling it without permission or payment. Who owns the copyright? Standard Brands? The late photographer John Turner's estate? Josephine E. Jones's sole heir (that's me)? If you do work for a company while working for that company, you are doing work for hire and the company owns the work. But if the work you do while working for that company is not in your job description, not what you were hired to do, it is not work for hire. The work you do belongs to you. My mother was not hired to create culinary art. She did it because she was inspired to do so. As the sole heir, I own the copyright. With legal advice, I am registering the copyright for the sculptural materials that the art is made of, the food. Notice, I am not registering a copyright for the photos, but the underlying work that was photographed. I have already received the copyright for the text that describes ingredients, process, and anecdotes which include not only my mother's philosophy about food presentation, but also her positive words of wisdom about life. I am waiting for word from the copyright office about the copyright on the culinary art. I will let you know how it turns out.
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