Big Media finally screwed by a copyright law

50s-70s artists can take their copyrights back — or get more money for leaving them alone.

The [1976] Copyright Act includes two sets of rules for how this works. If an artist or author sold a copyright before 1978 (Section 304), they or their heirs can take it back 56 years later. If the artist or author sold the copyright during or after 1978 (Section 203), they can terminate that grant after 35 years. Assuming all the proper paperwork gets done in time, record labels could lose sound recording copyrights they bought in 1978 starting in 2013, 1979 in 2014, and so on. For 1953-and-earlier music, grants can already be terminated.

The Eagles plan to file grant termination notices by the end of the year, according to Law.com. “It’s going to happen,” said Eveline. “Just think of what the Eagles are doing when they get back their whole catalog. They don’t need a record company now…. You’ll be able to go to Eaglesband.com (updated) and get all their songs. They’re going to do it; it’s coming up.”

It’s so delicious. Check out the comments on Wired: no sympathy at all. As the Eagles said, “Get over it!”

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