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A Ticking Time Bomb: Music Copyright Terminations

October 8, 2012

Copyright Termination Panel

“The ticking time bomb has arrived.”

That’s the subtitle of the MCLE event at TJSL on Saturday, October 20, “Music Copyright Terminations.”

This panel discussion, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. – is about the 1978 Copyright Act which provides that artists can terminate and regain copyrights assigned to record labels and music publishers 35 years after the copyright is granted.

The first court case involved composer Victor Willis, who wrote the Village People hit “YCMA.” He successfully sued to terminate the copyright of the publisher. The Willis case is going to lead to a “tidal wave” of music artists seeking to terminate copyrights currently held by the record companies and producers on 1970’s era recordings and published music.  Willis’ attorney Brian Caplan will make a pre-recorded appearance at the event.

This discussion at TJSL event will explore the impact of the copyright terminations on the record labels – is this the death knell for the labels?  Or is this a new era for artist’s rights?

“There is, to paraphrase Marx, a specter haunting the music industry–the specter of copyright terminations from pre-1978 musical works,” said TJSL Entertainment Law Professor K.J. Greene, who is hosting the event.  “How this battle will turn out none can say, but at stake is a massive trove of music with astonishing financial worth. This forum brings perspectives from leading participants from both sides of the trenches, and promises to be fascinating and contentious. It is befitting a school like TJSL, which sits on the cutting edge of intellectual property and is unique in its student-faculty-and practitioner’s collaborations.”

The moderators will be Professors Jeff Slattery and Julie Cromer Young.

The sponsors are TJSL’s Entertainment Law Society and the Center for Law and Intellectual Property.

Cost: Free for Students   For MCLE Credit: $15 for TJSL alumni and $25 others

MCLE Credit RSVP by October 17, 2012

Register here

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