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Can You Transfer Copyright Ownership?

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Question: Can You Transfer Copyright Ownership?
Answer: Yes. Like any other property, any or all of the copyright owner's exclusive rights may be transferred. However, the transfer of exclusive rights is not valid unless that transfer is in writing and signed by the owner or the owner's lawyer or authorized agent. Transfer of rights on a nonexclusive basis does not require a written agreement.

A copyright can also be bequeathed by will.

A copyright is a personal property right, and is subject to the same state laws and regulations that govern the ownership, inheritance, or transfer of personal property as well as legal contracts or terms business. Check your relevant state laws and/or consult an attorney.

Most often transfers of copyright are made by contract. The Copyright Office does provide any forms for transfer contracts, you have to provide your own. However, you can make a record the transfer of copyright ownership in the Copyright Office.

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