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Inside the Secretive, Difficult Struggle Between Artists & Labels Over Album Copyrights (Billboard)
Four years after copyright reversion for albums released after 1978 became a possibility, only a handful of artists have regained their masters. What’s the holdup?
Todd Rundgren is on a mission rarely accomplished by music stars: he wants the copyrights to his albums back.
So recently, when the 69-year-old rocker got a call from Copyright Termination Experts offering to help him free of charge, he accepted. The outfit showed him how to file notices with the U.S. Copyright office to retrieve ownership of some of the music he released more than three decades ago with Warner Music Group. (Continue at Billboard.com)
How To Get Your Copyrights Back From Your Label or Publisher (Digital Music News)
There’s a little known section in the US Copyright Act of 1976 enabling any copyright owner to get their rights back after 35 years.
Meaning, if you wrote or released a song with a label or a publishing company after January 1st 1978, you can terminate your agreement and get all your rights back. It doesn’t matter if you have unrecouped royalties or not. You can cut ties, free and clear, and get everything back. Boom!
Most musicians and songwriters don’t know about this – and the labels and publishers would like to keep it that way. Obviously. So they are attempting to keep this quiet. But attorney Evan Cohen is starting to blow this up. (Continue at digitalmusicnews.com)
Getting Your Grooves Back: Understanding Copyright Termination by Evan Cohen (Variety)
There is a powerful law causing quiet yet uneasy waves in the music industry, and it’s something the record companies would rather recording artists not know about.
For recordings released after 1977, the law is a section of the Copyright Act that allows recording artists to terminate their record contracts after 35 years. It also allows songwriters to terminate their music publishing deals after 35 years. It’s usually called copyright termination, but it’s not the copyrights that are being terminated, it’s the grant of rights to the record company that is being terminated. That old, awful record contract from 1980? Gone — at least as the contract applies to the United States. On the first day of the 36th year, the band owns the recording, free and clear. That is a very powerful position, to say the least. (Continue at Variety.com)
EVAN S. COHEN ON BARELY LEGAL RADIO
Joe interviews Evan about current issues regarding the termination of grants of copyright interests under Section 203 of the Copyright Act of 1976. Specifically, the discussion is about the rights of musicians and songwriters with regard to the termination of record contracts and music publishing agreements, entered into after 1978, and the timing of the terminations after 35 years.