Terminating A Pre-1978 Copyright Transfer

Law360, New York (August 15, 2011, 4:19 PM EDT) -- A family dispute over rights to the gospel classic “I’ll Fly Away” sets the stage for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to clarify the scope of what the U.S. Supreme Court described as authors' (and their heirs') “inalienable” right under the Copyright Act to terminate a copyright transfer.

The Second and Ninth Circuit courts have addressed this issue, finding that under some circumstances, a subsequently executed agreement between the author (or heir) and grantee can serve to extinguish the statutory termination right applicable to pre-1978...
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