Skip to comments.Record Industry Braces for Artistsí Battles Over Song Rights
Posted on 08/15/2011 10:46:58 AM PDT by Borges
Since their release in 1978, hit albums like Bruce Springsteens Darkness on the Edge of Town, Billy Joels 52nd Street, the Doobie Brothers Minute by Minute, Kenny Rogerss Gambler and Funkadelics One Nation Under a Groove have generated tens of millions of dollars for record companies. But thanks to a little-noted provision in United States copyright law, those artists and thousands more now have the right to reclaim ownership of their recordings, potentially leaving the labels out in the cold.
When copyright law was revised in the mid-1970s, musicians, like creators of other works of art, were granted termination rights, which allow them to regain control of their work after 35 years, so long as they apply at least two years in advance. Recordings from 1978 are the first to fall under the purview of the law, but in a matter of months, hits from 1979, like The Long Run by the Eagles and Bad Girls by Donna Summer, will be in the same situation and then, as the calendar advances, every other master recording once it reaches the 35-year mark.
The provision also permits songwriters to reclaim ownership of qualifying songs. Bob Dylan has already filed to regain some of his compositions, as have other rock, pop and country performers like Tom Petty, Bryan Adams, Loretta Lynn, Kris Kristofferson, Tom Waits and Charlie Daniels, according to records on file at the United States Copyright Office.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
If that’s what the law says, then good for the artists in figuring out how to regain control of their work. So, essentially, instead of selling the rights, they’re just leasing them for 35 years.
But what the artists don’t get is the label name that originally carried their recording (like Capitol did the Beatles etc.) So if the artists want to keep selling it they have to come up with a private but convincing label name, or come to a new marketing agreement with their old label.
Label name? Who bothers to check the label name when they click ‘buy’ in itunes?
I still don’t understand the imbalance between a super-drug that saves lives getting only seven years of copyright protection, but music (good, crappy, or indifferent) getting upwards of 100 years or more of copyright protection.
So long as they verify the genuine recording artists as well as the song and composer. Who wants a K-tel cover of a gen-u-wine Beatles song?
With the advent of downloadable music there really is no need for a record lab;e for the older stuff.If they need one they can call it “Directly from” and form their own to allow downloads of their previous hits.There are many loyal fans who would gladly pay the artist rather than the record company.
Well, good news after a fashion.
Quite frankly, all works should be public domain after 14 years, or 28 if the artist or author — not the publisher, not an artistic estate, the artist or author — requests an extension.
The last good copyright law was the Law of Queen Anne. The last good patent law was the Statute on Monopolies of 1624.
If the song is big enough to still be making profits, all that will happen is that the old label that used to own it will pony up some more cash for a license fee. Or another label will buy it. As long as there's a cash stream involved, one of the labels will pay a discounted present value of those future earnings. All this provision does is permit the artist to renegotiate (or even refuse to negotiate at all) for the royalties she or he will get from proven moneymaking songs.
Politics has pumped the literary world vastly more than the technology world, for ill or for good.
We can probably count on there always being a Disney with its private Mickey Mouse as copyright terms keep getting incremented just short of forever.
It's 20 years from the date of the filing of the patent application (which might in extreme cases work out to only 7 years of patent protection). The name of the drug will be trademarked. I don't think any of it is copyrighted.
Interestingly (and I may be wrong about this), I believe there are two different motivations related to the public's interest when it comes to these two different types of legal protection. A patent is aimed at protecting someone who invents something and enables that person to profit from the invention over a specified period of time. The public interest lies in stimulating new inventions over time that help improve our lives in ways that are increasingly cost-efficient. That's why a patent only lasts for a limited period of time.
A copyright, on the other hand, is aimed at protecting published works over long periods of time. There is no "public interest" in allowing someone else to re-write a work of fiction or re-write a musical composition, whereas there is definitely a "public interest" in encouraging inventors to improve upon existing technology, products, etc. In the case of a published work, the protection of the original work is what gives it value.
That's just my take on it.
In the immortal words of Mojo Nixon, “Don Henley Must Die.”
Anyone remember when John Fogerty released his “Centerfield” album he was sued by Fantasy records for copyright infringement because he used a riff from an old CCR song THAT HE WROTE in one of the songs on “Centerfield?”
Whatever happened there?
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