Copyright Renewal Vests in Sony not Roger Miller’s Heirs

For works published or copyrighted prior to January 1, 1978, the sixth circuit court of appeals made a landmark decision holding the copyright renewal term vests in the music publisher when the author dies during the twenty-eighth year after copyright was secured — the last year of the fist copyright term.

The history of the case can be found here and here.  Miller’s heirs have been in a litigation with Sony Music Publishing for years over who owns the songs that Miller wrote in 1964.  Miller died in 1992, the 28th year after writing songs such as “King of the Road” and “Dang Me.”

It takes a family with assets to pursue litigation to trial, appeal and back again.  The Miller estate has helped to clarify, at least in the sixth circuit, an unanswered question in copyright law.

Read the opinion here.

About Tamera Bennett

Tamera Bennett, nicknamed by her clients as the IP quarterback, develops strategies to protect and leverage each client's intellectual property. She works closely with her clients to implement customized brand management programs. Her clients range from rock star to leadership coach and financial guru to custom motorcycle designer. Prepared with an undergraduate degree in Recording Industry Studies and a law degree from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, Tamera represents clients throughout Texas and Tennessee in entertainment, trademark and copyright law related matters View all posts by Tamera Bennett

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