Celesq® Attorneys Ed Center

Lessons from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath: Copyright Terminations Under Sections 203 and 304 of the Copyright Act

Program Number: 30159

Program Date: 06/03/2020

Description

In 1976 and 1998 Congress extended the terms of copyright. Congress intended for authors to receive the full economic benefit of the extended copyright terms by granting authors and their heirs inalienable rights to recapture copyrights. These recaptured copyrights, vesting free of all prior grants, could then be re-licensed on economic terms favorable to authors. To protect authors’ families from disinheritances, late-life lovers or squabbles among over-reaching heirs, Congress preempted state inheritance law and created statutory heirs.

Congress’ statutory scheme benefitting authors and their families has been threatened by recent decisions of the Second and Ninth Circuits that have generated a recent cert petition to the Supreme Court in Steinbeck v. Kaffaga over film rights to The Grapes of Wrath. Many copyright termination disputes are now pending.

Join Ray Dowd in examining this fascinating case and learn why understanding the issues at stake and the mechanics of copyright terminations is important for all attorneys dealing with copyrights. Whether you are negotiating a license agreement or advising copyright owners and their heirs on estate planning, copyright termination is a hot issue.

Raymond J. Dowd authored a brief in Steinbeck v. Kaffaga on behalf of amicus curiae the Authors Guild, the Dramatists Guild, the American Society of Journalists and Authors and former Register of Copyrights Ralph Oman.

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Available in states

California, Colorado Eligible, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey Eligible, New York, Texas Self Study

Credit Information

50 minute credit hour - 1.0 General CLE credit, based on a 50 minute credit hour
60 minute credit hour - 1.0 General CLE credit, based on a 60 minute credit hour

State Program Numbers

Presenters


Raymond Dowd, Esq.

Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP

Raymond Dowd is a partner in the law firm of Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP in New York City. He authored Copyright Litigation Handbook (now in its 10th edition). His practice consists of federal and state trial and appellate litigation, arbitration and mediation, having served as lead trial counsel in broadcasting, fashion, publishing, art law, copyright, trademark, cybersquatting, privacy, trusts and decedents estates, licensing, corporate and real estate cases, often working closely with experts in valuation. He has litigated questions of Austrian, Canadian, French, German, Italian, Russian and Swiss law in U.S. courts and led cross-border investigations and discovery. He litigated landmark decisions from Surrogate’s Court to the New York Court of Appeals, including the Estate of Doris Duke and recovering an ancient Assyrian tablet for Berlin’s Pergamon Museum. Mr. Dowd lectures internationally on copyright litigation and on Nazi art looting.

He serves on the Board of Governors of the National Arts Club, co-founded the annual Art Litigation and Dispute Resolution Institute at New York County Lawyers’ Association and served as the Federal Bar Association’s General Counsel . He is an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School, where he serves on the Board of the alumni association and co-chairs its International Affinity Group. Mr. Dowd is a graduate of Manhattan College and earned his law degree at Fordham Law School. He speaks French and Italian. In 2018, he received the Harold J. Baer, Jr. Public Service Award from Network of Bar Leaders at a ceremony held at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

 

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