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

From: Rjack
Subject: Re: Effect of transfer of copyright on free software licenses?
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2009 23:40:56 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090605)

Tim Smith wrote:
Suppose I create a copyrighted work. I release it under a license
such as GPLv2. You use it, in a way that requires permission of the
copyright holder, but is in accord with GPLv2, so you are OK.

Suppose now that I transfer the copyright to someone else.

Do you now have something to worry about if the copyright assignee
wishes to stop you from copying, modifying, and distributing the software?

The GPL is meant to be a bare license, not a contract, but doesn't
that mean it provides no protection if the ownership of the work

You snooze, you lose:

"§ 205. Recordation of transfers and other documents

(e) Priority between Conflicting Transfer of Ownership and
Nonexclusive License. — A nonexclusive license, whether recorded or
not, prevails over a conflicting transfer of copyright ownership if
the license is evidenced by a written instrument signed by the owner
of the rights licensed or such owner's duly authorized agent, and if

(1) the license was taken before execution of the transfer; or

(2) the license was taken in good faith before recordation of the
transfer and without notice of it."

The GPL is *not* a nonexclusive license signed by the owner.


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