In September we discussed one isolated instance
of the heirs of rights-holders filing for copyright termination. Now Wired
discusses the general case — many copyrights from 1978 and before could come up for grabs
in a few years. Some are already in play. "At a time when record labels and, to a lesser extent, music publishers, find themselves in the midst of an unprecedented contraction, the last thing they need is to start losing valuable copyrights to '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s music, much of which still sells as well or better than more recently released fare. Nonetheless, the wheels are already in motion. ... The Eagles plan to file grant termination notices by the end of the year.... 'It's going to happen,' said [an industry lawyer]. 'Just think of what the Eagles are doing when they get back their whole catalog. They don't need a record company now... You'll be able to go to Eagles.com (currently under construction) and get all their songs. They're going to do it; it's coming up.' ...If the labels' best strategy to avoid losing copyright grants or renegotiating them at an extreme disadvantage is the same one they're suing other companies for using, they're in for quite a bumpy — or, rather, an even bumpier — ride."