Re: copyrights assignments

On 23 Jul 2000 14:20:35 +0200, Martin Baulig <> said:

>Hmm, and when I write "(C) 2000 some_name_here" or something like
>this into a newly created source file (while having the copyright of
>that file), is this a valid transfer of copyright or do you need to
>sign some papers for it ?

If "some_name_here" isn't your name[1], then the answer is no.  Per
the Berne Convention, copyright inheres in the author at the moment of
creation; the copyright notice is not required and a defect in the
notice does not impair the copyright itself.  However, a defect in the
notice may impair enforcement of the right, by creating a defense of
innocent infringement.

Merely creating a file with "Copyright (C) The Free Software
Foundation" is NOT sufficient to assign the copyright to the FSF.  An
separate transfer or assignment of copyright must be executed; this
document must be in writing and must be signed by the transferor.

>Btw. what happens when someone's working contract says that the
>company owns all copyrights of his code or something like this and
>this person blindly writes something else into a source file without
>thinking ?

If you put a copyright notice into a file which claims that someone
other than the lawful copyright holder holds the copyright, the notice
has no legal effect, except possibly to make you liable to the true
copyright holder for damages in the event that someone, acting on
reliance of the truth of the notice therein, infringes the copyright
and in so doing damages the true copyright holder.


[1] Or, if the work in question is a work-for-hire, your employer's

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