Saturday, September 21, 2013

Estate Planning and Copyright Stories

As you may know, reggae music legend Bob Marley, who died in 1981 from cancer at the age of 36, left a widow, many children, and corporations to manage his assets, but no will and therefore, no executor or administrator of his choosing.  Lawsuits stemming from disputes during the past 30-plus years have centered around the use of his name and likeness for commercial purposes, the distribution of assets to family members, and royalty rights.  The background story is related by attorneys Danielle and Andy Mayoras in a 2011 Forbes article.  Copyright disputes also plague Marley's music legacy, a corollary to the lack of  record keeping and clear legal documentation that clouds some of his 1960s Jamaican recordings. Marley-related litigation produced a decision this week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in a suit pitting Universal Music Group, Inc., against another distributor with rights that the court found "equally spotty."  Bloomberg has this story about the lawsuit; you can read the opinion here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

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