Archive for August 17th, 2011
If you spend £100 on this, and don’t have some sort of pangs of regret within minutes, tough titty.
It’s been two years since we first warned of the pending fight concerning musicians asserting their copyright termination rights. As you hopefully know by now, copyright law includes a “termination right,” which cannot be contractually given up, which allows the original content creator to “reclaim” the copyright on their works 35 years after it was created. The only real exception is in cases where the work qualifies as “work for hire.” I’m actually not a huge fan of termination rights in the first place for a variety of reasons, but the fact is that they’re there… and they scare the entertainment industry silly.
The big legal fights so far have mostly been about the comic book industry, with the heirs of Superman’s creators having won back some rights to Superman — while Jack Kirby’s heirs failed to win back the rights to The Incredible Hulk and X-Men. Kirby’s family just appealed and there are still additional disputes around the Superman stuff.
However, the real showdown is about the music industry. The NY Times has an article about the impending battle, which has a variety of interesting tidbits, but none more ridiculous than the RIAA officially making it clear that it intends to totally screw over musicians. As we made clear two years ago when we wrote about this, the RIAA was going to come out fighting to try to block what the law clearly allows, and will do everything it can to screw over artists and keep them from regaining their own copyrights.