Our Practice – Copyright Law

Alter & Kendrick, LLP is a New York based law practice with a focus on domestic and international copyright law as it pertains to the music, audio-visual, theatrical and literary industries as well as music foundation administration.

Copyright Terminations and Recapture of Copyright

Our attorneys are highly experienced in conducting in-depth copyright termination analyses for songwriters, composers, recording artists, authors, and publishers, and in assisting creators and artists in the recapture of their copyrights. In addition to certain contractual termination rights, songwriters, composers, artists and authors are often entitled to take advantage of the copyright termination provisions set forth in the U.S. Copyright Act.  Our experience extends to both termination of pre-1978 grants in accordance with Section 304(c) and/or (d) of the U.S. Copyright Act (the “56 Year Termination Right”), and termination of grants made by the author on or after January 1, 1978 (the “35 Year Termination Right”).  In addition, our proprietary data base system enables us to review a large number of copyrights in an expeditious manner and prepare comprehensive due diligence reports in connection with the potential acquisition or sale of copyright catalogues.

British Reversionary Rights

While the copyright termination provisions provide the author or his or her heirs the opportunity to recapture rights in the United States, in certain instances the right exists to recapture rights in one or more foreign territories pursuant to the copyright laws of the respective countries.  Foremost among those rights are the so-called British Reversionary Rights which, under certain circumstances, affords the heirs of a deceased author the opportunity to effect the reversion of grants made by the author in one or more of the so-called British Reversionary Territories.  Our firm assists heirs of songwriters, composers and authors in understanding the possible application of the British Reversionary Rights to their catalogues, and asserting those rights as appropriate.

Transactional Work in the Music Industry

Our firm provides services in connection with a broad range of transactional work in the music publishing and recording industries.  Our services include negotiating and drafting music publishing agreements, administration agreements, and foreign sub-publishing.  We have considerable experience in representing both buyers and sellers of music copyrights ranging from the works of an individual songwriter, to substantial publishing catalogues.  In addition, we render copyright advice in connection with estate planning for the owners of music and literary copyrights.