Company no longer in business - copyright question

Tracing copyright owners and asking permission.
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Barry
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Company no longer in business - copyright question

Post by Barry » Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:38 pm

Advice please on following situation : Company builds and designs a product including a user manual . Company goes out of business (liquidation ) in 1993. I am assuming that any copyrights / patents went to the liquidator as "assets" of the business but what happens to them after that - do they belong to the liquidator until the 70 year rule passes and therefore would I need to try and find out from the liquidator who bought the rights ( if anyone ) and if not, can a liquidator still charge a fee to sell the rights or permission to re - produce manual after a dormant period of approx 16 years ?

Any help greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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CopyrightAid
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Post by CopyrightAid » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:37 am

You are correct. Copyright that has been passed to the liquidator can be sold by the liquidator - just like any other asset.
If the liquidator has not sold it then presumable they still hold the assets (or the Crown does) and the correct action is indeed to attempt to buy back the right to the work.

Barry
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Post by Barry » Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:14 pm

OK - part 2. As far as I can see, the liqidators themselves no long exist. I still have further searches to do but it certainly looks like that is the situation. So what is the position now ?. I now have a copy of the liquidators report when they wound the company up and they have clearly stated that the company had no assets. I'm guessing that in a lot of cases, liquidators do not consider IP / copyright as an asset ( their mistake in my opinion ) . Where do the CROWN come into this ( I assume any outstanding VAT / TAX which the company owed when it was placed into liquidation ) and if so does that mean the CROWN automatically then owns copyright due to any outstanding debts once the liquidator has completed their work?.

Thanks

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