Seven of Ray Charles’ children have prevailed against the Ray Charles Foundation’s legal effort to prevent them from reclaiming copyrights on about 60 of his best-known compositions, reports Variety.
U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins threw out a number of claims that the singer’s namesake foundation had filed against the children after they filed termination notices in 2010 to reclaim the ownership of the works from Warner/Chappell Music. Although Warner/Chappell has not challenged the validity of the termination notices, the Ray Charles Foundation did, as it reaps royalties from the copyrighted music.
But Collins ruled that the foundation lacked standing to challenge the children’s’ filing of termination notices. A revision of the Copyright Act in 1976 gives authors the ability to reclaim their works assigned to publishers or other grantees after a certain period of time, although works “made-for-hire” cannot be reclaimed.
Collins did not make a judgment on whether all, some or any of Charles’ works were made “for hire.” Rather, she wrote that “because the Foundation is not a grantee of the rights to be terminated or its successor, Congress did not even require the statutory heirs provide it with statutory notice of the termination, let alone give it a seat at the table during the termination process.”
Collins also struck the foundation’s state law claims of breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The foundation said that Charles’ children entered into an agreement with the singer in 2002 in which he set up a $500,000 trust for each of them in which they waived “any right to make a claim against his estate.”
Collins, however, said that the children’s’ filing of termination notices “could not be claims ‘against’ Charles’s estate because his estate went through probate and was closed in 2006,” before the termination notices were sent out.
She also supported the children’s’ motion to strike the foundation’s state-law claims on the grounds that the filing of the termination notices fell under California’s anti-SLAPP law. This law is designed to discourage the filing of lawsuits as a way to chill expression through costly litigation. She noted that the heirs were merely trying to establish a property right under federal statute. Collins ruled that the foundation had to pay attorneys’ fees.
Seven of Charles’ 12 children were defendants in the case.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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