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Re-Capturing the Family's Literary Jewels: Termination of Copyrights

SKU: IP5300
General Credits
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Hold onto your seats on this one. It will surprise many of you and cause you to question long-held beliefs that a contract is a contract and that any law attempting to negate an agreement that constitutes a meeting of the minds, has been entered into consciously, in good faith, by all parties, and for valid consideration, can possibly be constitutional. (Well I have news for you. It can and it is).

This CLE lecture is focused on what, even to entertainment industry professionals, might seem to be an obscure area of the law. Yet all general practice lawyers who deal in estate matters, together with trusts and estates specialists whose clients are authors of intellectual property or who are heirs, or likely heirs, of such authors need to be aware of the impact of termination rights which form an important part of the United States Copyright Act of 1976. Wealth management and business management professionals and accountants as well should understand the implications of the termination provisions.

If your clients are or were creators of intellectual property who sold their copyrights years, or even decades ago, yes, they can actually recapture them, at no cost, and keep them for decades to come. Two sections of the US Copyright Act of 1976 provide for the re-capture of certain copyrights previously sold, licensed, or otherwise assigned or transferred to a third party. It really is as simple as that.

This lecture will examine:

  • If and which specific copyrights can be the subject of such actions;
  • When, and under what circumstances, specific copyrights can be the subject of such actions;
  • How such actions can be effectuated and the recaptures accomplished
  • Who are the qualified parties who can achieve effective terminations;
  • Who must, and who need not, or cannot, be among those attempting to re-capture copyrights;
  • Rights that the terminating parties can acquire by taking such actions; and rights that they cannot acquire.
  • How to value re-captured rights and
  • Pitfalls arising out of the careless or ineffective exercise of such actions, including intervening actions of the author or the author’s heirs

This lecture will discuss all of the above issues in depth and the materials I am offering will further elucidate some of the more common concerns, and some of the more obscure issues as well, arising out of the Copyright Act provisions.

Lecturer Bio

Peter M. Thall, Esq.

Peter M. Thall is a veteran of 50 years of practicing law.

A graduate of Columbia University and The National Law Center of The George Washington University School of Law, Mr. Thall has represented the interests of many of the world’s greatest artists - - from Graham Nash to Simon & Garfunkel. Barry Manilow, The Average White Band, ABBA, Ric Ocasek and The Cars, Hall & Oates, Foreigner, Pat Benatar, Miles Davis, The Irish Tenors, to the world-renowned Soprano, Anna Moffo, Violinist Hilary Hahn and multiple classical music composer legends such as Gian Carlo Menotti and the late Julius Eastman who is credited with “inventing” minimalism.

Mr. Thall consults several public corporations which are facing music rights issues for the first time. He also consults several leading Internet companies that are discovering new and profitable ways of providing music to consumers.

The third edition of his book What They’ll Never Tell You About The Music Business: the Myths, the Secrets, the Lies (& A Few Truths) was published in August, 2016, by Watson-Guptill, an imprint of Random House.

Mr. Thall is a frequent contributor to the print and visual media, is often quoted in the international press and has appeared innumerable times on television news programs as an expert on such issues as the responsibilities, dangers and legal consequences of using pyrotecnics in live performances, celebrity endorsements, copyright law, the music business and its formidable challenges in the digital era, and the First Amendment.

During his career, Mr. Thall and his professional associates have specialized in all areas of entertainment law and intangible rights - - with particular emphasis in music, film, theater, television, book publishing, merchandising and endorsements, fashion, design and photography. His clientele has always encompassed a wide variety of artists at the top of their professions, including directors, producers, authors, actors, both popular and classical music songwriters, performers and recording artists, music publishers, fashion models, photographers, designers, dancers, choreographers, and theatrical composers and writers.

Among his areas of expertise are: Copyright Law; Executive Employment and Compensation agreements; and all transactions generated in the domestic and international music publishing and recording fields, including the sale and purchase of major music publishing catalogues.

National Academy of Continuing Legal Education is a CLE provider accredited by the California State Bar, Provider #11481 To view our full accreditation details, please click here.

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