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Reclaiming Rights Under Section 203: Who Can Play the Terminator?

Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, 700 Aliceanna Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202
June 9, 2019
12:15 PM (EDT)

Jay Rosenthal will be speaking on the panel, “Reclaiming Rights Under Section 203: Who Can Play the Terminator?” at the 2019 Copyright Society of the USA’s Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 9, 2019. This panel will take place at 12:15 PM (EDT). 

Section 203 of the Copyright Act provides creators and their heirs with a unique opportunity to reclaim rights in a work by terminating any transfers or licenses 35 years after the date of assignment. Commonly known as termination rights, the provisions of Section 203 are meant to give authors of creative works a chance to reclaim rights they may have assigned without bargaining power or a full understanding of the value of the underlying work. While termination rights have been successfully invoked by musicians, songwriters, and other creators in the past, 203 contains an important exclusion for works made for hire—the definition of which is now being challenged by two lawsuits brought by recording artists against major labels.

This panel will bring together academics, industry professionals, and creators to discuss the history of Section 203 and explore the significance of cases set to test the boundaries of 203 and what it means for authors of creative works to get a “second bite at the apple.”

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