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70s Acts prepare for showdown over recordings

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 13 Oct 2009 3:23 User comments (4)

70s Acts prepare for showdown over recordings Record labels appear ready to defend their ownership of recordings dating back to the 1970s against termination claims from artists. The claims could transfer ownership of a recording to the performer as soon as 35 years after its creation.
The labels' position appears to be that the termination right, established in the Copyright Act of 1976, doesn't apply to their releases. Based on a RIAA lobbying effort a decade ago, they don't seem convinced that's a winning argument.

In 1999 that organization successfully lobbied for an official declaration that recordings made while under contract to a label weren't subject to termination. That provision of the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act was later repealed after a poor reaction from artists including Don Henley and Sheryl Crow.

If the artists are successful in taking ownership of their recordings the transfer could begin as soon as 2013.

It's easy to see why the labels would be worried about losing ownership of their back catalog. Artists whose older work is still popular would have a lot of leverage to negotiate new distribution deals.

And of course the artists would be free to experiment with new business models the major labels seem to turn their noses up at.

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4 user comments

113.10.2009 4:00

"In 1999 that organization successfully lobbied for an official declaration that recordings made while under contract to a label weren't subject to termination. That provision of the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act was later repealed after a poor reaction..."

...and What does the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act have to do with music recorded in the '70's? Nothing...and yet they threw this crap in any approved it anyway. Makes me sick.

213.10.2009 11:42

RIAA not only do they expect the consumer to take it up the arse they also expect the artist too.

It is my belief that the "suits" have stolen more money from artists than fans but 'coz they did they now have billions to buy the politicians to pass laws in their favour

313.10.2009 11:54

Oh I'm sorry this law is to harsh on you huh, we'll just change that then. Oh wait that little old grandma downloaded music and you'd like to use a verbose grossly broad phrasing of a 100 year old law to throw the book at her, sure. Lets just see how much money you lobbied this month.


Lobbying is the bane of this society. Don't like a law, pay somebody to change it. Bullshit.

413.10.2009 15:05

If I understand this, there was a contract between the artist and the recording company... The artist SOLD their copyrights in exchange for production, promotion, and distribution of the recordings, and for royalties. And, that was a PERMANENT SALE (at least until the copyright expires). It's a transfer of ownership... not a rental or lease... There's nothing in the contract about the artist getting the copyright back...

Then the government passes a law to void the contract and make it a 35 year lease???

That's like if I sold some land, and then came back 35 years later and said, "35 years is long enough, I didn't get enough money and I want my land back!".

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