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My husband wrote a song and filed a copyright . An artist released a song that has the same music diff. words. What to do.

Tulsa, OK |

My husbands copyright was in 1981. The person that is listed as the writer of the song didn't file until the early 2000. The artist released the record in 2008. I didn't realize it was my husbands music, because the words were different. It did sound familiar, but it was my husband that realized it. My husband had a lot of heart problems, and passed away April 2nd, 2013. So we are just now looking into it. We were originally from Arizona, and that is where my husband wrote and had filed the copyright. It was also recorded in a studio in Arizona. So I figured I should get a lawyer from Arizona that specializes in music copyrights. My main concern is that my husband be recognized for his musical talent. Please let me and our family know if you can help us. Thank you for your time.

Attorney Answers 2


The Statute of Limitations for copyright infringement actions is three years from accrual of the action. So, it sounds like that may pose a problem. You will need to consult a copyright litigator. if you aren't barred by the SOL, then the registrations would need to be compared for substantial similarity sufficient to make a presumption of copying. If you pass that threshold, then the damage potential would need to be assessed and forms to justify suit. I am quite skeptical that you will meet all these hurdles, but you can not handle this alone. use the find a lawyer tab and perhaps your case can be addressed. Don't expect a lawyer to call you as your identity is not known to us.

I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.

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Russell William Kinsey

Russell William Kinsey


The test for when your case of copyright infringement accrues looks at when you became aware of the infringement, either actually or when you were put on notice. Thus you claim will be based on when you found out about the song.


I understand that your major concern is that proper credit be applied to your husband and this may affect your strategy. Unfortunately, the US Copyright law doesn't recognize a sting moral right, so your complaint would be civil and monetarily based. But it is common to begin disputes over copyright infringement with a cease and desist letter drafted by an attorney to the artist in an attempt to spark negotiations. Here you may only be looking for enough money to cover your legal fees required to get the other artist to sign an agreement recognizing your husband's authorship.

The above response is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry. less

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