Rewind, Reclaim: Copyright Termination in the Music Business

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A Look at What's Inside:

1. The copyright reclamation right gives artists the ability to tear up their copyright transfers or licenses after 35 years. This right has the potential to transform the recorded music business.

2. For decades, some record labels have used their copyright holdings as leverage to become industry gatekeepers against artists and consumers alike, and to burden the development of new distribution platforms that threaten to make them obsolete.

3. Artists' right to terminate transfers, which first took effect in 2013, empowers artists to reclaim control over their own life's works or negotiate better deals with their current business partners. This can have some unique impacts on the recorded music industry, which has traditionally been plagued by the imbalance of power between the major record labels and artists.

4. The termination right is still relatively new, so Congress, musicians, and music fans alike must be vigilant to make sure unanticipated pitfalls don't prevent artists from exercising their reclamation rights.

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