Collective Work

A “collective work” in copyright law refers to a work, like a periodical issue, anthology, or encyclopedia, where a number of contributions, each constituting a separate and independent work in itself, are assembled into a collective whole. A collective work is a form of compilation.

For example, an issue of a magazine is a collective work because it combines various independent articles, each of which could be copyrighted separately, into a new, compiled work. The individual authors retain copyright to their own articles, but the publisher of the magazine also has a separate copyright for the collective work as a whole, including the particular selection and arrangement of the content.