One-hit wonders often spell long term rewards for record companies, which can make millions of dollars from legacy recordings — as long as they own the rights. That may be about to change. A provision in U.S. copyright law stipulates that songs released after 1978 have "termination rights," which offer artists the ability to regain ownership of their work after 35 years have passed. With that deadline on the horizon, a battle is looming between artists and labels over song rights.
We're speaking with Kenneth Abdo, vice president of the Lommen Abdo Law Firm, and chair of the entertainment law department there, and Rick Carnes, president of the Songwriters Guild of America. Carnes has written songs featured on over 40 platinum albums.