A couple of interesting posts on the 1709 copyright blog, which — for my trainspotting sins and fascination with all things music copyright — I follow.
First up, from a couple of weeks back, was this US decision on the United States copyright law provisions that potentially allow all artists to reclaim (with restrictions) all copyright assigned to a publisher or a label after 35 years. The first of these come up next year, and the ramifications for the majors are massive.
In the first defining strike, Victor Willis, the lead singer of The Village People, has reclaimed his share of all those songs we all kinda liked but refused to admit to (unless we were drunk).
Chief Judge Barry T. Moskowitz in the Federal District Court in Los Angeles rejected the song publishers’ claim that Mr. Willis was not eligible to reclaim his share of ownership of “YMCA” whose lyrics he wrote, and 32 other songs recorded by the Village People saying “The purpose of the Act was to safeguard authors against unremunerative transfers and address the unequal bargaining position of authors.