Big Law

New Papers Are Filed in Universal Music’s Termination Rights Litigation

A group of artists suing Universal Music in the US in a dispute over the termination right in American copyright law filed new papers with the court on Friday seeking class certification, so that they can represent any artists who are seeking to enforce that right against the major.

The termination right says that artists who assign their copyrights to third parties can terminate that assignment and reclaim those rights – albeit only within the US – after 35 years. When it comes to song rights, it has become quite common for songwriters to seek to enforce that right and reclaim previously assigned copyrights.

However, when it comes to recordings, many labels argue that the termination right does not apply. That’s based on the argument record deals are so called ‘work for hire’ agreements. If that’s the case, the label – not the artist – is the default owner of any copyrights created under a record deal, meaning no rights are ever assigned from artist to label, meaning there is no assignment to terminate.

Read the source article at Complete Music Update

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