A claim filed by Claudette Robinson, ex-wife of Motown pied-piper Smokey Robinson, alleges not only is she entitled to 50 percent of his compositions, but that her ex-husband has breached fiduciary duty, committed constructive fraud, and anticipatory breached the terms of a 1989 stipulated judgment made three years after their divorce.
The ex-Mrs Robinson’s claim is in response to a claim originated by a lawsuit filed by her former husband in March seeking declaratory relief that he wouldn’t have to share reclaimed rights.
The filings are derived from a provision of the 1976 Copyright Act; a termination provision which Congress enacted to extend the term of copyright so artists who had handed their rights over without much bargaining power is provided another chance to enjoy the fruits of early career stage labors.
Smokey Robinson’s remarkable career has produced hits such as “Cruisin,” My Girl,” and “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me”
But the outcome from the current dispute with ex-wife Claudette Robinson could create a new road block for other artists in the same position in the future.
The Robinsons were married for 27 years between 1957 and 1986. They had two children together. They sang together as part of The Miracles, but Claudette says that in 1964, she stopped touring to be able to take care of the kids.
Now, the question arises whether recaptured copyrights should be defined as community property or separate property under California family law.
According to Smokey’s lawyers, the ex-wife isn’t entitled to the music, and her notice to the contrary, could “jeopardize” his ability to secure new agreements exploiting his newly recovered rights.
“The 1976 Copyright Act expressly provides that these ‘recaptured’ copyrights belong to the author alone,” wrote Fox Rothschild attorney John Mason in the March lawsuit. “Moreover, the 1976 Copyright Act precludes any transfer of those copyrights before the terminations themselves are effective. Thus, any transfer of such rights to any third party, whether [Claudette Robinson] or a music publisher, was barred by the 1976 Copyright Act, and is therefore null and void.”
As part of the stipulated judgment, Smokey Robinson was given the right to administer and exploit his songs, but also promised he would “not maliciously or willfully take any action with a view of damaging” his ex-wife’s interest.
As a result, it’s alleged that the singer has breached his fiduciary duty by “willfully taking steps to usurp Ms. Robinson’s valuable rights.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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