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Re: Effect of transfer of copyright on free software licenses?


From: John Hasler
Subject: Re: Effect of transfer of copyright on free software licenses?
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2009 20:45:22 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.2 (gnu/linux)

I wrote:
> The USA has no such statutory requirement (I assume that by "signature"
> you mean an autograph signature.  One can make a legally-binding
> commitment without putting pen to paper.)

Tim Smith writes:
> Well, what do you think "a written instrument signed by the owner of the
> rights licensed", which is how the statute phrases it, means?


Here is 204 (a) in its entirety:

(a) A transfer of copyright ownership, other than by operation of law, is
    not valid unless an instrument of conveyance, or a note or memorandum
    of the transfer, is in writing and signed by the owner of the rights
    conveyed or such owner's duly authorized agent.

Thus the requirement for a written instrument is for transfer of ownership
of rights, not licensing.  In any case, "in writing and signed" does not
mean pen and ink under US law.
-- 
John Hasler 
address@hidden
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI USA


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