Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association

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"Bringing Together Educators and Leaders of the Music and Entertainment Industries"

Journal of the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association

Volume 10, Number 1 (2010)

Whether Sound Recordings Created On or After 1978 Constitute Works Made for Hire Under the Copyright Act of 1976

Stephanie R. Taylor
Middle Tennessee State University

Abstract

Copyright law has a unique provision that allows a copyright author to terminate or revoke his or her transfer of copyright after a specified period of time. Works made for hire were specifically excluded from the termination of transfer provision. One of the most pressing issues facing record labels today is whether sound recordings constitute works made for hire under the United States copyright law. This paper addresses the law of termination of transfers and works made for hire as applied to sound recordings created under typical exclusive recording agreements with record labels on or after 1978.

Keywords: copyright law, termination of transfers, 17 U.S.C. §203, 17 U.S.C. §204, sound recordings, music and entertainment, record labels, music business, work for hire, heirs per stirpes, copyright author, copyright act of 1976

Taylor, Stephanie R. “Termination of Copyright Transfers: Whether Sound Recordings Created On or After 1978 Constitute Works Made for Hire Under the Copyright Act of 1976.” Journal of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association 10, no. 1 (2010): 77-97. https://doi.org/10.25101/10.4

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