Archives: Copyright Term

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Anne Frank’s “Diary of a Young Girl”: a Derivative Work with a Co-Author

On January 1, 2016, Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and Joseph Goebbels’ diaries will both enter the public domain in most of Europe, where the term of protection ends 70 years after the death of a work’s author. One of the Nazi’s most famous victims, Anne Frank, died the same year as Hitler and Goebbels – … Continue Reading

Pocket Full of Kryptonite: California Court Rules that Superman Heirs Forfeited Termination Rights

The Copyright Act’s provisions concerning termination rights are complex and nuanced: these rights are available only under certain circumstances and only during specified periods of time.  And that is not surprising, as these rights allow an author or an author’s beneficiaries to recapture potentially valuable rights that were previously assigned—basically, an author or her heirs have … Continue Reading

It Doesn’t Take the Entire Village

Victor Willis, a member of the 1970’s Disco group Village People, prevailed in California in a relatively high case concerning the termination of copyright assignments.   Willis, the ersatz police officer, notified Scorpio Music and Can’t Stop Productions, the two companies currently administering 33 musical compositions made famous by of the Village People, of his intent … Continue Reading