Copyright Compendium

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Chapter 2400

2309.3 (B) Establishing Priority Between Conflicting Transfers

2309.3 (B) Establishing Priority Between Conflicting Transfers


Recording a transfer of ownership with the U.S. Copyright Office may establish priority between two or more transfers involving the same copyrighted work.


If a copyright owner issues two transfers involving the same work, the transfer that was executed first will prevail, provided that the document is recorded (I) within one month after the transfer was executed (in the case of a transfer executed in the United States),

(ii) within two months after execution (in the case of a transfer executed in another country), or (iii) at any time before the other document was recorded with the Office.


Otherwise, the later transfer will prevail, provided that (I) the transfer is taken in good faith, for valuable consideration or on the basis of a binding promise to pay royalties, (ii) the transfer is taken without notice of the earlier transfer, and (iii) the transfer is recorded in a manner required to give constructive notice.


17 U.S.C. § 205 (D).