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For proprietors of copyright interests, the “author’s” right to terminate an assignment under §203 of the Copyright Act of 1976 (the Copyright Act) has created a hotbed of uncertainty with respect to whether or not certain works constitute works for hire to which the right of termination does not apply. Under the Copyright Act, the status of obscure categories of commissioned works, such as atlases (yes, atlases), instructional texts, tests and answer materials for tests, as works for hire is clear.1 As 2013 approaches, however, and with it, the first-time application of the termination provisions of the Copyright Act, no one is commenting on the potential boon for the “atlas” industry or tensions swirling around the status of those who prepare “answer material for a test.”

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