Daniel Nathan Ballard
Daniel Nathan Ballard, Intellectual Property Law Attorney - Sacramento, CA
Posted over 1 year ago.

The Beatles band partnership agreement that created The Beatles Ltd in 1963 expressly excluded as a partnership asset the copyright in the musical compositions created by the individual members. That contractual relinquishment by Harrison and Starr is why McCarthy and Lennon were entitled to the lion share of the publishing royalties for the songs they wrote. The questioner and his band did not have a partnership agreement. The issue is whether the band owns the copyright in the song he wrote "by operation of law" [17 USC 201 -- which is the mechanism for copyright transfers by bequest, bankruptcy, foreclosure, under community property statutes, corporate mergers, corporate dissolutions, etc. ] or has an implied, nonexclusive right to exploit that copyright. Depends on the facts as noted in my first response.

Frank Anthony Natoli
Frank Anthony Natoli, Intellectual Property Law Attorney - New York, NY
Posted over 1 year ago.

Yes, Daniel, I am on the same page. Before we get to whether 17 USC 201(c) applies, you have to first be concerned with whether this is in fact a "collective work." An agreement ay get us there of course. Absent that it is a factual analysis. My comment was based solely on the limited info this asker offered and we all recognize that merely having a band perform a one's song does not by itself render it a collective work. Thank you for your thoughful follow up.

Bruce E. Burdick
Bruce E. Burdick, Intellectual Property Law Attorney - Alton, IL
Posted over 1 year ago.

And we have to recognize this Asker is not objective and likely only giving favorable partial facts and there is another side. However, you gave him the answer most favorable to him and thus obviously the "Best" answer in his view [see, he even voted that way]. Now he likely thinks he has all he needs to avoid hiring a lawyer! Perhaps he will call you. That's as it should be. I think I would rather represent the band on this one as if push comes to shove, and the rest of the story gets told, I think the band wins, which makes Daniel and I and SGT. PEPPER the "worst". Guess we're in the LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND. Where's the love? I mean HEY JUDE, ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE to avoid a HARD DAY'S NIGHT when you are BACK IN THE USSR. .

Bruce E. Burdick
Bruce E. Burdick, Intellectual Property Law Attorney - Alton, IL
Posted over 1 year ago.

There will be an answer, LET IT BE.