Termination of Transfers and Recapture of Copyrights

The termination provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act afford songwriters, composers, artists and other authors the opportunity to terminate grants of rights in their works, even if those grants were made in perpetuity. 

However, the termination provisions are both complicated and time sensitive, and if notice of termination is not served in a timely and proper manner this opportunity may be lost forever. We are highly regarded for their expertise in conducting in-depth copyright termination analyses for songwriters, composers, recording artists, authors, and music publishers. Our experience extends to both the termination of pre-1978 grants in accordance with Section 304(c) of the U.S. Copyright Act (the “56 Year Termination Right”), and the termination of grants made by the author on or after January 1, 1978 pursuant to Section 203 of the U.S. Copyright Act (the “35 Year Termination Right”).  We have assisted countless songwriters and artists in the recapture of their compositions and masters, and frequently prepare comprehensive copyright due diligence reports for music publishers which highlight the implications of the termination provisions on the value of potential transactions. For an in-depth overview of the termination of transfer provisions under the U.S. Copyright Act please refer to our guide on Protecting Your Musical Copyrights.

Practice Areas

Protecting Your Musical Copyrights

Download our useful and frequently sought out guide to copyright law as it pertains to musical compositions and sound recordings, including detailed information regarding the statutory termination provisions of the US Copyright Act and helpful charts outlining the applicable timeframes during which the recapture rights provided for thereunder may be exercised, as well as practical tips for musical estates, music publishers, and other content owners.