Today, the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit issued a ruling that includes the following:
We therefore hold that an electronic agreement may effect a valid transfer of copyright interests under Section 204 of the Copyright Act.
This is a very big deal for any copyright owner… more so than it may at first appear.
As many of you may know, you cannot transfer ownership of your copyright without a signed writing. Until now, most read this to mean that you needed an actual piece of paper with an actual signature. Not according to this court.
Yes, this is only one circuit, but other circuits can follow that ruling so, as they used to say on Hill Street Blues, be careful out there.