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Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Commons

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2001

The John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law

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Full-Text Articles in Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law

Rock And Roll Royalties, Copyrights And Contracts Of Adhesion: Why Musicians May Be Chasing Waterfalls, 1 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 163 (2001), Starr Nelson Jan 2001

Rock And Roll Royalties, Copyrights And Contracts Of Adhesion: Why Musicians May Be Chasing Waterfalls, 1 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 163 (2001), Starr Nelson

The John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law

Copyrights form the basis of every recording contract. When a recording artist signs his or her first recording contract, the artist retains the copyright in the musical work but transfers ownership of the sound recording to the record company. With respect to any subsequent recording contract, the artist is not on equal bargaining footing with the record company because the record company already owns certain copyrights in the previous recording. This Comment proposes that courts recognize this unequal bargaining power when construing what is, in effect, a contract of adhesion.