Posted by nankerphelge on September 24, 1999 at 08:18:02:
In Reply to: Re: incorrect songwritter listed posted by Fleabit Peanut Monkey on September 24, 1999 at 01:21:24:
I'll take a stab at the copyright issue -- I think I did once before too.
Duration of copyright under the 1976 Act has a general rule of the author's life plus 50 years.
Under the prior statute -- the 1909 Act -- protection began at the date of publication or registration if unpublished, and continued for 28 years with the potential for renewal for a second 28 years if certain formalities were met.
There are also funky copyright extensions for some works, e.g. copyrights that were in effect in their renewal term (the second 28 years) as of 9/19/62 and which were scheduled to expire before 12/31/76 were extended to the later date, etc. etc. -- but those kinds of technicalities makes copyright attorneys wealthy and everyone else crazy!
And there was a bill within the past few years to extend copyright protection to life plus (I think) 75 years under the 1976 Act -- but I cannot recall if that ever went into effect.
If anyone really needs or wants to know -- the U.S. Copyright Office has a web site that probably answers that question.
Assuming that Mr. Johnson published his music in '37 (and, here's another technicality -- I don't think there was copyright protection under the 1909 Act for sound recordings -- I believe it was only the musical composition), then he would have been under the 1909 Act and would have rec'd 28 years -- i.e., first term expiration in '65. If the formalities of renewal were followed, another 28 years could have been granted. Whether he would have gotten into any of the funky extensions is beyond my simplistic analysis.
But even if he didn't renew and the work fell into the public domain in '65, the bigger problem is that, regardless of whether Mr. J had a copyright (which would give him exclusive rights to his music and thus a cause of action to sue for unauthorized use), our heros took credit for authoring the song -- which in my mind is beyond copyright infringement, it is failure to attribute true authorship -- plagarism, if you will.
Next time our friend Lord Voodoo is at a prty with Keef, I suggest he ask "what gives" with this whole issue, and hopefully (before Keef punches him out) we might get a glimmer.
The preceeding was not legal advice by nankerphelge.
All comments were the mindless babbling of a patent person with enough copyright knowledge to be dangerous.
Void where prohibited by law.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Enter at your own risk.
Post a Followup