Pushman Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Pushman doctrine refers to a principle of copy rights law which is no longer in force. According to this principle, transfer of an unpublished work transfers the common-law copyright to the work along with the work. The standard was set in the case Pushman v. New York Graphic Soc., 287 N.Y. 302 (N.Y. 1942) wherein it was held copyright is incident to the ownership, and passes at the Common Law with a transfer of the work of art. The doctrine was rejected by Section 202 of the Copyright Act of 1976, but it remains in effect for transfers completed before the provision's effective date of January 1, 1978.