Sound Recordings, Works for Hire, and the Termination-of-Transfers Time Bomb

16 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2010  

Peter S. Menell

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

David Nimmer

Irell & Manella LLP

Date Written: June 17, 2010

Abstract

In crafting the Copyright Act of 1976, Congress brokered a grand compromise between authors and publishers so as to bring about a unitary term of protection. Authors obtained an inalienable right to terminate transfers 35 years after an assignment, subject to designated carve outs for nine categories of collaborative works that could become unmarketable following termination due to the transaction costs of reassembling the necessary rights. While motion pictures and encyclopedias made the list, sound recordings were not expressly covered - although they arguably fit into other designated categories. This Article traces the background to this dispute, which will likely take on great salience in 2013, when the first post-1976 works become eligible for termination.

Keywords: Copyright, Termination of Transfers, Work Made for Hire

Suggested Citation

Menell, Peter S. and Nimmer, David, Sound Recordings, Works for Hire, and the Termination-of-Transfers Time Bomb (June 17, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1626355 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1626355

Peter S. Menell (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

David Nimmer

Irell & Manella LLP ( email )

1800 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 900
Los Angeles, CA 90067
United States
310-277-1010 or (310) 203-7079 (Phone)

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