[photogallerylink id=51154 align=right] An obscure copyright law set in the 1970’s might enable recording artists to regain the rights to their music after 35 years. Termination rights would leave the recording labels with less revenue in a struggling industry. It’s a big issue just coming to the surface as the 35 year mark approaches.

The New York Times explains the law:

“When copyright law was revised in the mid-1970s, musicians, like creators of other works of art, were granted “termination rights,” which allow them to regain control of their work after 35 years, so long as they apply at least two years in advance. Recordings from 1978 are the first to fall under the purview of the law, but in a matter of months, hits from 1979, like “The Long Run” by the Eagles and “Bad Girls” by Donna Summer, will be in the same situation — and then, as the calendar advances, every other master recording once it reaches the 35-year mark. ”

“Congress passed the copyright law in 1976, specifying that it would go into effect on Jan. 1, 1978, meaning that the earliest any recording can be reclaimed is Jan. 1, 2013. But artists must file termination notices at least two years before the date they want to recoup their work, and once a song or recording qualifies for termination, its authors have five years in which to file a claim; if they fail to act in that time, their right to reclaim the work lapses. ”

The NY Times reports that according to records on file at the United States Copyright Office [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bob Dylan[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Tom Petty[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bryan Adams[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Loretta Lynn[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Kris Kristofferson[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Tom Waits[/lastfm] and[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Charlie Daniels[/lastfm] have already filed to regain rights to some music.

Read more at NYTimes.com

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