Dwight Yoakam claims that Warner Music has denied him the right to reclaim the copyrights to some of his best-known recordings and has sued them over it. Yoakam is seeking a jury trial and a declaration of the termination of his copyrights and unspecified damages for copyright infringement. “Yoakam’s suit hinges on Section 203 of the Copyright Act, a law passed in 1976 that allows the authors of copyrighted works to cancel their copyright grants and regain the rights to those works after a specified period of time. In the case of newer works, that period of time is 35 years. Yoakam’s landmark debut album, Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., was released in 1986 via Warner subsidiary Reprise Records.”

“The termination rights Congress gave to artists like Mr. Yoakam to gain control back over their intellectual property are essential rights that should not be interfered with or delayed,” Yoakam’s attorney, Richard Busch at King & Ballow, says in a statement. “We did not want to have to file this lawsuit, but we were forced to do so for all of the reasons set forth in detail in the Complaint.”  

– Excerpt from an article for Taste of County by Sterling Whitaker. Read the full article here.

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