Saturday, September 8, 2012

Music Business/Law Tips - "Copyright Action Basics"

If one feels they have a copyright infringement action, they must evaluate the following basic information before moving forward: 1. The term of copyright in general is life of the author (or co-authors) + 70 years from date of death of last surviving author. Publication does not matter under the 1978 Copyright Act (which applies to any song written after 1/1/78) unless its a song written for a corporation. 2. The term "statute of limitations" means how long someone has to file a legal claim once there has been an illegal act (like an infringement) committed. Under the Copyright Act, the statute of limitations is 3 years from the "discovery" of the claim. After the deadline, any right to file an action is waived. The above laws apply regardless of whether the song was "produced" or not, "performed" or not, whether the writer is "known" or not, or (with some exceptions) whether there was any "work for hire" contract in place or not. Ben McLane Esq

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