Village People member & writer of YMCA uses law to reclaim his copyrights!

Credit: Robert Benson, NY Times

Creative Commons License
Village People member & writer of YMCA uses law to reclaim his copyrights! by Professor Tonya M. Evans is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

Forget Y … M … C … A.

V (which stands for victory) is Victor Willis’s new favorite letter of the alphabet. That’s because he, the “policeman” member of the Village People, successfully used a powerful right in the Copyright Act called termination of transfers to reclaim his copyright in the popular and perennial hit YMCA and other songs.

The termination right is a little known but powerful opportunity for people who’ve created copyrighted works (like a songwriter, writer, photographer, for example) and transferred them to others (a recording or publishing company, for example) to get their rights back 35 years after the transfer. It’s a right that exists regardless of what the original transfer document said. So all of that “in perpetuity” language? Forget about it. The right cannot be contracted away but it can be forever lost if not exercised in a timely or proper fashion. Continue reading “Village People member & writer of YMCA uses law to reclaim his copyrights!”

Fordham IP, Media & Ent. Law Journal is out!

I am very pleased to announce the journal in which my article, Sampling, Looping & Mashing … Oh MY! How Hip Hop is Scratching More Than the Surface of Copyright Law, appears is now completed and officially published!

Visit the Fordham IP, Media & Entertainment Law Journal blog  for more information and please share this post with your colleagues, friends and networks.

Carpe diem,

Professor Evans