September 13, 2019

Fishkin Lucks Defeats Motion to Dismiss Copyright Lawsuit in the Southern District of New York

The Firm successfully opposed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit it brought on behalf of its client, a world-renowned jazz and R&B recording artist, to recover his copyrights in several of his seminal recordings.  The Firm’s lawsuit, pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeks to settle a matter of first impression, specifically, whether “gap grants”—pre-1978 agreements to convey copyrights in works that were not created until after 1978—such as the ones its client made to defendant, a global music conglomerate, are terminable under section 203 of the Copyright Act.  The Court permitted the Firm to proceed with its lawsuit in the face of a motion by the defendant arguing that gap grants are not terminable pursuant to the relevant statute, and thus, that it ought to be able to continue to extract profits from the intellectual property of the Firm’s client and countless other similarly situated recording artists.