12
Dec/05

Pooh and The Termination Notice


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Ninth Circuit decides complex case interpreting copyright termination under the 1989 CTEA (Sonny Bono act). From the decision:
This copyright action arises from a termination notice sent
by the appellant to the appellee, seeking to recapture rights to
various characters created by her grandfather, Alan Alexander
Milne, who authored the “Winnie-the-Pooh” children’s books.
Milne originally granted various rights in those works to the
appellee in 1930. Then, in 1983, due to a change in copyright
law in 1976, Milne’s heirs considered terminating the 1930
grant outright, but instead entered into a new agreement that
revoked the original grant and re-issued rights in the works to
the appellee. The appellant seeks to invalidate the 1983 agree-
ment based on 1998 legislation. The 1998 legislation only
authorizes the termination of copyright agreements executed
before 1978. Because the 1983 revocation and re-grant were
valid, we affirm the district court’s decision.
Silicon Valley Media Law discussion here.
Prof Patry on Milne case here.

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