Here is a quote from an article quoting a US Judge on the SCO vs Novell case regarding who owned the copyrights to the Unix Operating System:
Anyway, I'll shut up now, unless another Paradox staff member gives me an excuse to continueHere is where those dozens of pages of tangles and troubles suddenly gets really, really simple:
"The Copyright Act requires a signed written instrument to transfer ownership of copyrights," Judge Kimball wrote. "Section 204(a) states: 'A transfer of copyright ownership, other than by operation of law, is not valid unless an instrument of conveyance, or a note or memorandum of the transfer, is in writing and signed by the owner of the rights conveyed or such owner's duly authorized agent'... This requirement is meant to 'enhance predictability and certainty of copyright ownership."'
Guess what's missing from this deal.
"A transfer of copyright is simply 'not valid' without the required written instrument," Kimball went on. An exclusion to an exclusion doesn't count. "In this case, the extrinsic evidence surrounding Amendment No. 2 strongly favors Novell's position that Amendment No. 2 was merely affirming Santa Cruz's implied license to use the UNIX and UnixWare copyrights."