Don’t Miss Out On These Important Facts About Transfers and Licenses

Don’t Miss Out On These Important Facts About Transfers and Licenses

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Don't Miss Out On These Important Facts About Transfers and Licenses

A copyright is any right that is given to an individual, either by authorship or inheritance, to use, reproduce, sell, license, and transfer a work. The work can be in any tangible medium that conveys an idea, such as a motion picture, painting, or musical piece. Just because a person transfers ownership of an object does not give him or her the right to claim copyright ownership of it. This distinguishes copyright ownership from object ownership. Only a copyright owner (usually the author of the work) is allowed to transfer ownership of the copyright to another entity or license a copyright for temporary use by another entity.

Copyright Transfers

A copyright  transfer occurs when an owner of a copyright gives all the exclusive rights that come with copyright ownership to another person or entity. Some copyright transfers come with clauses, in which only a select amount of rights are given to the new copyright owner.

A transfer of copyright ownership is not valid until an instrument of conveyance or a note of the transfer is created. It must be in writing and signed by the owner of the rights or an authorized agent of the owner. Although a certificate of acknowledgment is not required during a transfer of rights, it is evidence that the execution of the transfer took place. Within the United States, the certificate must be issued by someone qualified to do so. If the transfer is done in a foreign country, the certificate is to be issued by a diplomatic officer of the United States.

Any transfer of copyright ownership or any other document pertaining to copyright may be documented by the United States Copyright Office if the document has the signature of the person who executed it. The Copyright Office will then review the document of transfer and return it with a certificate of record. If there are two conflicting transfers, only the one that was executed first is valid. If a copyright is licensed to another company, it overrides some provisions of a transfer document.

Copyright Licenses

The word "license" means to give permission. When a copyright licensing is initiated by an owner of a work, he or she is giving copyright permission to another entity and thereby allowing him or her to use the work for his or her own means. Under intellectual property laws, the licensee is freed from any infringement charges that may be brought upon by the licensor.

Usually, the copyright permission comes with several provisions pertaining to a term, territory and renewal. There are other possible limitations as well. A term refers to the length of time in which the copyright licensing is valid. If the value of the copyright rises after the term is over, the licensor then benefits from this. This also ensures that the licensor maintains power over the licensee. "Territory" refers to which regions of the world the licensee may use the copyright. For example, some licenses may be limited for use only in China and the licensee cannot legally use the license in Japan.

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