Prince and the Copyright Revolution (Part 2)

The question is: How will the media industry will respond in the face of artists seeking to reclaim their works?

As was discussed in part one of this article, a paradigm shift is underway as entertainment companies could soon lose control of some of their most valuable hit songs, bestsellers and other core assets. Thousands of artists — including Tom Petty, Bryan Adams, and Charlie Daniels — have filed notices of termination under the provisions of Section 203 of the Copyright Act of 1976 and are seeking to reclaim the rights to their works. The question is: How will the media industry will respond in the face of this turn of events?

The right of termination = Leverage for artists

Argument #3: The grant was executed prior to Jan.1, 1978.

If it can be shown that the grant was executed prior to Jan. 1, 1978, it would not be covered by the provisions of Section 203. For example, Tom Scholz, an original member of the music group Boston, filed a notice of termination seeking to recapture the rights to the hit songs he wrote for the group, including “More Than a Feeling” and “Peace of Mind.” Paul Ahern, Boston’s original co-manager, responded with a complaint that argues, among other things, that the grant was executed in 1975, thereby making it ineligible for termination.

Contributing Author

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Patrick Soon

Patrick Soon is an attorney at WHGC, P.L.C. whose practice focuses on intellectual property. Outside of his work at WHGC, Mr. Soon volunteers for...

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Contributing Author

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Rebecca Bellow

Rebecca Bellow is an attorney at WHGC, P.L.C. whose practice focuses on business litigation, civil litigation and intellectual property. Ms. Bellow also represents clients...

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