Copyright Compendium

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2309.3 (C) Establishing Priority Between a Conflicting Transfer and a Nonexclusive License

2309.3 (C) Establishing Priority Between a Conflicting Transfer and a Nonexclusive License


If a copyright owner issues a transfer of copyright ownership and a nonexclusive license involving the same work, the license will prevail (regardless of whether it has been recorded with the Office), provided that the license is evidenced by a written instrument signed by the owner of the rights licensed or such owner’s duly authorized agent, and provided that one of the following conditions has been met:


• The license was taken before the execution of the transfer; or


• The license was taken in good faith before the transfer was recorded with the Office and without notice of that transfer.


17 U.S.C. § 205 (E).