2013 US Code
Title 17 - Copyrights
Chapter 2 - COPYRIGHT OWNERSHIP AND TRANSFER (§§ 201 - 205)
Section 204 - Execution of transfers of copyright ownership

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Metadata
Publication TitleUnited States Code, 2012 Edition, Supplement 1, Title 17 - COPYRIGHTS
CategoryBills and Statutes
CollectionUnited States Code
SuDoc Class NumberY 1.2/5:
Contained WithinTitle 17 - COPYRIGHTS
CHAPTER 2 - COPYRIGHT OWNERSHIP AND TRANSFER
Sec. 204 - Execution of transfers of copyright ownership
Containssection 204
Date2013
Laws in Effect as of DateJanuary 16, 2014
Positive LawYes
Dispositionstandard
Source CreditPub. L. 94-553, title I, §101, Oct. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 2570.
Statutes at Large Reference90 Stat. 2570
Public Law ReferencePublic Law 94-553

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Execution of transfers of copyright ownership - 17 U.S.C. § 204 (2013)
§204. Execution of transfers of copyright ownership

(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.

(b) A certificate of acknowledgement is not required for the validity of a transfer, but is prima facie evidence of the execution of the transfer if—

(1) in the case of a transfer executed in the United States, the certificate is issued by a person authorized to administer oaths within the United States; or

(2) in the case of a transfer executed in a foreign country, the certificate is issued by a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States, or by a person authorized to administer oaths whose authority is proved by a certificate of such an officer.

(Pub. L. 94–553, title I, §101, Oct. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 2570.)

HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES HOUSE REPORT NO. 94–1476

Section 204 is a somewhat broadened and liberalized counterpart of sections 28 and 29 of the present statute [sections 28 and 29 of former title 17]. Under subsection (a), a transfer of copyright ownership (other than one brought about by operation of law) is valid only if there exists an instrument of conveyance, or alternatively a "note or memorandum of the transfer," which is in writing and signed by the copyright owner "or such owner's duly authorized agent." Subsection (b) makes clear that a notarial or consular acknowledgment is not essential to the validity of any transfer, whether executed in the United States or abroad. However, the subsection would liberalize the conditions under which certificates of acknowledgment of documents executed abroad are to be accorded prima facie weight, and would give the same weight to domestic acknowledgments under appropriate circumstances.

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