While the word “author” is used in common vernacular to identify the person who wrote something, such as a book, paper, or article, the term "author" is used in copyright law to identify the creator of any work. Thus, a sculptor, artist or photographer would be considered the "author" of his or her work.
If a copyright is assigned or transferred to a second person or entity, that person does not become the author, merely the new rights-holder. The original author always retains that status or description, and in some legal regimes, has certain rights that cannot be assigned, altered, or renounced.
In countries that recognize the work-for-hire doctrine, the employer can be considered the "author" of the work.