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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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