There’s a little known section in the US Copyright Act of 1976 enabling any copyright owner to get their rights back after 35 years.
Meaning, if you wrote or released a song with a label or a publishing company after January 1st 1978, you can terminate your agreement and get all your rights back. It doesn’t matter if you have unrecouped royalties or not. You can cut ties, free and clear, and get everything back. Boom!
Most musicians and songwriters don’t know about this – and the labels and publishers would like to keep it that way. Obviously. So they are attempting to keep this quiet. But attorney Evan Cohen is starting to blow this up.
“It’s an incredible opportunity. It burns me up that some people will just lose this and never know about it.” – Evan Cohen Esq., Copyright Termination Experts
There is a time limit on this. There is only a 3 year window once you hit your 35 year mark to let your rights owners know you want out.
Technically, the law states you have 5 years. But because the law requires you give them at least 2 years notice you really only have 3 years once the 35 year mark hits. HOWEVER you can let them know 10 years in advance.
So all you recording artists and songwriters from 1978 – 1992 you can begin the termination process.
Evan Cohen has helped terminate the contracts of 200 artists and songwriters including Bobby Womack, Gang of Four, Todd Rundgren, Stephen Bishop, Anita Ward, The Turtles, Buzzcocks, Denice Williams, Gary Numan and Ricki Lee Jones.
Once you terminate your contracts and get your copyrights back you can do whatever you want. You can redistribute them on your own to digital platforms (via a non-ownership distributor like CD Baby, DistroKid, AWAL or Stem). You can work with a publishing administrator like Kobalt or SongTrust to collect your publishing royalties (without giving up any ownership). You can sell your rights to another record company, publisher or other buyer. You can license the rights to a record company or publisher. Or just hold onto them while you strategize the best ways to move forward.
This isn’t limited to just US artists. Any artist in the world can get their US copyrights back by utilizing this law.
Cohen mentioned that he helped a bunch of UK artists and songwriters get their US copyrights back.
However, of the 3 major record labels, apparently, one is complying, one is being difficult and the 3rd is refusing to terminate any contracts altogether. Cohen says he is prepared for the fight ahead to make sure all artists and songwriters can reclaim their rights if they want them.
Cohen started the Copyright Termination Experts to help artists and songwriters get their rights back FOR FREE. He said because his company is so experimental he isn’t charging any of his clients right now. Sure, he’s hoping that he will prove his worth and they may hire him in the future. But above all, he said he’s doing this because “if people had to pay NY Lawyer fees to get this done, no one would do it.”
“After 31 years of doing this – this is what I want to be doing. It’s an honor” – Evan Cohen Esq.
Contact Copyright Termination Experts here.