Friday, September 13, 2013

Taking Back 'Funkytown': Songwriters Prepare For A Custody Battle; NPR's All Things Considered, 9/12/13

Joel Rose; NPR's All Things Considered Taking Back 'Funkytown': Songwriters Prepare For A Custody Battle: "When Congress revised U.S. copyright law in the 1970s, it granted "termination rights" to musicians and other creators, which allow them to regain control of their works after 35 years. (The law only applies to sound recordings released in 1978 or after.) Abdo says reclaiming ownership of "Funkytown" would allow his client to earn more in licensing fees and other revenues — exactly as Congress intended. "If you have a big hit or several big hits, then all of a sudden the deal that you made early in your career doesn't seem quite fair because it was very lopsided," Abdo says. "It gives the author a chance to get a second bite at the apple."... [O]ne big hurdle artists face is the question of whether a sound recording is a "work for hire." Since the 1970s, many labels have insisted on contract language that seems to define artists as employees of the label, Slotnick says."

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