Rep. Conyers Wants To Clarify Termination Rights Under Copyright Law

With all the talk of musicians and their contested termination rights lately (as well as a few early cases about termination rights), it appears that Congress is starting to pay attention. Rep. John Conyers has stepped up to say that Congress should clarify termination rights, and it sounds as though he’s going against the record labels here. While he doesn’t say so directly, his statements suggest that he means making sure that artists can get back their copyrights.

If that’s accurate, that’s good to hear. It is a bit surprising, however, since Conyers gets a ton of money from the entertainment industry (his second largest supporters after “lawyers.”) And, in the past, Conyers has been in favor of taxing radio and also locking up federally funded research behind copyright. Still, if he’s really willing to help get Congress to make it clear that musicians signed to record labels were not “work for hire” situations, and should be able to terminate their copyright assignments, that would be a good step forward.

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