Re: conquer relicensing
Arnoud Engelfriet writes:
> Michael Poole wrote:
>> firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
>> > * The following file "trade.c" was written by Adam Bryant who
>> > * gives all rights to this code to Ed Barlow provided that this
>> > * message remains intact.
>> IANAL, but this looks like an effective conveyance of copyright to me.
> I would rather read it as an unrestricted license that grants
> permission to exercise all exclusive rights to Ed Barlow.
> As this grant includes the right to sublicense, Ed can apply
> the GPL's terms to the code.
> In most jurisdictions copyright can only be transferred in writing.
> See e.g. 17 USC 204:
> "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."
> Without a piece of paper with Adam's signature saying otherwise,
> the copyright remains with him. So Ed should ensure he does not
> change the copyright notice.
This is certainly a curious definition of "writing" and "signature" --
which is to say it is not one governing the law you quote, or the one
used any place I know of where the legal system has caught on to the
digital age. See, for example, 15 USC 7001(a):
Notwithstanding any statute, regulation, or other rule of law (other
than this subchapter and subchapter II of this chapter), with
respect to any transaction in or affecting interstate or foreign
(1) a signature, contract, or other record relating to such
transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity, or
enforceability solely because it is in electronic form; and
(2) a contract relating to such transaction may not be denied legal
effect, validity, or enforceability solely because an electronic
signature or electronic record was used in its formation.
I don't have a citation handy, but U.S. (Federal) courts have held
that the primary requirement for an electronic signature is that be an
affirmative (rather than implicit) act.