Page:Copyright, Its History And Its Law (1912).djvu/138

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
106
COPYRIGHT

or divided rights without reference to this power of substitution. Further assignment from one assignee to another is permissible to any extent, and in cases of repeated assignment of a general copyright there may be further substitution of names.

WitnessesThere is no specific requirement as to the witnessing of assignments, which would therefore follow the usual principles of law. This was, however, an important question in England, and under the early English statute the courts held that assignments must be in writing, attested by two witnesses; the later statute of Victoria modified the language, and the new English code requires assignment in writing signed by the owner or his authorized agent, without specifying witnesses. But assignment of common-law rights (as in an unpublished manuscript) may doubtless be by word of mouth.

"Outrights"
and renewal
Where an author sells his entire rights "outright," and renewal he cannot transfer the right to take out renewal, but he may directly or by inference bind himself to apply for such renewal in the interest of the new proprietor. Under such a contract, this proprietor could probably require him by equity proceedings to take this step. Such a contract, however, would not bar the author from his right to renewal under the copyright law and through the Copyright Office, although it is possible that the courts might enjoin an author from renewal or assignment of a renewed copyright in the interest of another than the original assignee. It should be noted that in the case of composite, corporate or like impersonal works, copyrighted under the new code, renewal is not restricted to the original proprietor, though by analogy this should be the practice; but that in the case of renewal of copyrights existing before July 1, 1909, and in extension of the present renewal terms, the use of the phrase "such proprietor," referring