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Article
Statutory Heirs Apparent?: Reclaiming Copyright in the Age of Author-Controlled, Author-Benefiting Transfers
West Virginia Law Review (2016)
  • Tonya M. Evans
Abstract
Many scholars, practitioners, and copyright transferees in the entertainment business surmised the likely impact of the first reclamation trigger date of January 1, 2013, under section 203 of the 1976 Copyright Act on post-1977 transfer terminations. Some also expressed concern with the apparent distinction between, and treatment of, transfers by will and nonprobate transfers. In this Article, I focus on what has actually transpired since that trigger date. Specifically, I argue that Congress should treat certain lifetime gratuitous author transfers to ACAB business and nonprobate entities in the same way that transfers by will are treated. I assert that parity in the treatment of wills and will substitutes is necessary give the rise in importance and frequency of use by celebrities of those ACAB vehicles. I propose a statutory amendment to prevent Statutory Heirs from terminating the decedent author's lifetime gratuitous transfers to best protect the author's testamentary intent and valuable copyright ACAB transfers in the same way testamentary transfers are protected.
Keywords
  • copyright act,
  • statutory heirs,
  • ACAB,
  • testamentary,
  • transfers,
  • probate,
  • nonprobate
Disciplines
Publication Date
Fall 2016
Citation Information
Tonya M. Evans. "Statutory Heirs Apparent?: Reclaiming Copyright in the Age of Author-Controlled, Author-Benefiting Transfers" West Virginia Law Review Vol. 119 Iss. 1 (2016) p. 297 - 343
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/tonya_evans/13/