Almost a year back, I have submitted a manuscript for a Journal as a research article, and after almost 11 months and after undergoing two rounds of peer review and referee suggested revisions, I finally got an acceptance letter. After getting acceptance, I thought I would receive a letter to sign a copyright agreement and asking my permission to transfer the rights for publication, but to my surprise I did not get any such letter. I then read the copyright document on the Journal's website (under instructions for authors segment, one is supposed to read even before submitting a manuscript) and found that as per the document the copyrights laws are automatically transferred once the manuscript gets accepted, and come into force from the day of getting the acceptance letter. Is this quite a common thing with Journals. The Journal is although not a top journal but fairly reasonable and from a fairly known publisher and I am sure its not a fake or predatory. There are no charges for authors whats so ever.
Question : Can the copyrights be transferred without the author explicitly signing (electronically or otherwise) any document to that effect?