Let’s assume that several authors co-write an article or a book. Who owns the copyright in the jointly-created work?
The answer is that the authors are equal co-owners of the copyright (17 U.S.C. Section 201[a]). Each copyright co-owner can exploit the copyright as he or she wishes (for example, by granting one or more nonexclusive sublicenses). However, each is obligated to share any profits from such activities with the other co-owners (see, e.g., Thomson v. Larson).