Intellectual Property Law

New Matter FALL 2019, Volume 44, Number 3

The Licensing Corner

Sean Hogle

Rooney Nimmo PC

A copyright license is not a "contract not to sue:" drafting and negotiating copyright license grants as quasi-property deeds

In A License is Not a "Contract Not to Sue:" Disentangling Property and Contract in the Law of Copyright Licenses, Iowa L. Rev. (March 2013), Prof. Christopher Newman presents a useful and compelling case for the treatment of copyright licenses as the conveyance of real property-like interests, akin to rights of way, licenses and easements in real property law, and explains how this treatment finds explicit support in the US Copyright Act. Existing copyright law enables the creation and validity of copyright "deeds," or unilaterally executed written instruments of conveyance—even those unsupported by consideration, similar to the way that a conveyance of a real property interest can be manifested by deed.

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