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Information About Work for Hire and Copyright

Wendy Jones

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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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9 hours ago, Wendy Jones said:

Mr. Turner was the professional

photographer for Standard Brands.

@Wendy JonesIf Standard brand then or Kraft today never registered for a copyright  (work for hire also requires a separate filing too)  - they can't sue the publishing company for copyright infringement. That US Supreme Court  ruling came down in 2019 and I wrote about on my blog (melhopkins.com : https://melhopkins.com/2019/03/04/copyright-registration-first-then-sue/ )  If a registration exist I hope you can get permission to use the photographs at least for fair us https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/more-info.html and get a grant from the foundation to offset the cost of publishing your book - plus get a distribution deal with them too. I can only imagine how Kraft Heinz would love to support your book!!!  If you follow this path - got through the KraftHeinz company foundation - check out their Corporate Social Responsibility report and consider back door your request through this department - (NOT legal  :D ) https://www.kraftheinzcompany.com/pdf/KHC_CSR_2017_Overview.pdf 

So excited for this book!

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As usual, on this site not only do I get encouragement, but I also receive a thorough education.  That is why I recommend this website to every writer or publisher I talk to. I feel a warmth in this community I have not found anywhere else online.


Thank you, Mel. Both your counsel and your excitement about the book are much appreciated.


I looked at your links and, of course, wandered off into the discussion about fictional characters and defamation. Quite intriguing.


It's always good to have a plan B, so it's good to know about the Kraft Foundation. Though people who give you money always think they own you.


I have no idea what the copyright office will do, but my legal advisor has a plan if the copyright turns down my request.  Don't ask me what it is, I am envisioning receiving the copyright.


Just sent an announcement for  preorders to my email list. I am aiming for 25 preorders minimum by January 4, 2021. In 24 hours, I had 12 orders, so it looks good.



The Culinary Art Portfolio of Josephine E. Jones, where art and food intersect,


will be sold on this website  as well as Ida Bell Publishing, LLC,'s after the book launch on May 20, 2021.


Although I have posted this in another area on this site, I think I was not in the correct section, so I will post it again here.


I am looking for a black website designer willing to work within the constraints of an existing design. In addition, s/he must be able

to set up a new book page within the woo-commerce environment (not sure that's  the right terminology, but I hope it's clear what I mean).


Now that Ida Bell Publishing, LLC, has two books, I would like to have the book page set up in the same format as other publishing websites that I've seen. One page has all the covers, the reader clicks on a cover and the information about that book comes up on a separate page. In other words, the same set up that Troy has here.


Please email me at   idabellpub@gmail.com if you are interested.

May you, your family, and friends stay safe and stay well.


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