- Richard Finch says he terminated EMI’s rights to his compositions
- Complaint says Finch saw no royalty
(Reuters) – Richard Finch, co-founder and bassist of classic disco-funk group, KC & the Sunshine Band, sued Sony Music-owned EMI Longitude Music on Friday in federal court in Los Angeles, seeking a declaration that he can recover part of the copyright in the band’s music.
Bullfinch for follow-up on the songwriting rights to nearly 100 songs he co-wrote for the band, including hits like “That’s the Way (I Like It)”, “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty” and ” Get Down Tonight “. He sued under part of copyright law that allows authors to terminate copyrights after 35 years.
The law aimed to remedy the unequal bargaining power of authors with the largest copyright owners.
Finch ceded his rights to co-founder and singer Harry Wayne Casey in 1983, and the complaint says he has received nothing from the US exploitation of this vast catalog of world famous and famous “disco” hits since.
âThis situation is exactly the situation envisionedâ by the termination clause, said Finch’s attorney, Evan Cohen of Cohen Music Law, in an interview.
The right to terminate has also appeared in several other recent litigation, including Marvel’s lawsuits against a group of comic book artists who want to reclaim the rights to the superheroes they co-created, and a battle between Disney. and the scriptwriters of the “Predator” screenplay. .
Bridget Hirsch of Byrnes Hirsch also represents Finch. Cohen and Hirsch represent Scottish rock band The Jesus & Mary Chain in a similar dispute with Warner Music.
Sony Music did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Finch’s lawsuit.
The complaint states that Finch and Casey co-founded KC & the Sunshine Band in 1973, co-writing their songs until 1979. According to the complaint, Finch then left the group and assigned their copyrights and rights. author on the compositions to Casey in 1983., in what the complaint called a “reckless transaction”.
Finch said the copyright ended up with Sony Music’s EMI and he served the company with a termination notice in 2019. The complaint states that the termination took effect on October 1 and that ‘EMI has been exploiting the songs without their permission ever since.
Finch asked the court to declare the termination effective and that he owns 50% of the rosters. He also requested an account for the money he says EMI owes him.
The case is Finch v. EMI Consortium Songs Inc d / b / a EMI Longitude Music, US District Court for the Central District of California, No. 2: 21-cv-08032.
For Finch: Evan Cohen of Cohen Music Law and Bridget Hirsch of Byrnes Hirsch
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