Victor Willis, otherwise known as the Policeman from the Village People has won a landmark legal case, giving him back partial ownership of a host of the disco band's songs.
The legal win allows Willis to terminate an old publishing deal, meaning that he can now reclaim royalties for the band's hits, such as "YMCA." The case sets a precedent in the United States, as it means songwriters will be able to claim back the publishing rights to their old material, reports The Guardian.
The groundbreaking case stems from amendments made to the U.S. Copyright Act in 1978, which says that writers can terminate copyright deals 35 years after they have been signed. The law takes effect next year.
Willis is the first to take advantage of this law, but Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and the Eagles are reportedly set to follow in his footsteps and have all informed their publishers and record labels that they will be ending their copyright deals.
by RTT Staff Writer
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