The focus of what Legacyworks LLC provides to the songwriter is returning ownership of a copyright that was once signed away.
Ownership, and the songwriter’s right to terminate ownership under U.S. copyright law, is one area where songwriters and publishers have divergent interests. Despite the many ways the publisher might act in the songwriter’s best interest, clearly this is one instance where what may be best for the publisher – to retain ownership of a valuable copyright in perpetuity and not lose it – may not be best for the songwriter.
When Lewis Anderson began Legacyworks LLC, this was a rarely discussed distinction and termination was a little understood right. Lewis had been a successful songwriter since the 1970’s (see Lewis Anderson’s bio here) and had chaired an NSAI committee in the early 1990’s that wrote an insightful book on songwriter’s contracts and rights. The termination right was well examined in the process, but few songwriters understood it and it seemed a long way off.
As time passed, termination became more imminent and Legacyworks LLC was begun in 2004 to service this need. The company now represents some of the most prestigious songwriters in American popular music of all genres.
We specialize in researching and preparing extensive catalogs containing hundreds of songs, and have filed for termination on many well-known classics. But beyond just meeting the professional requirements, we empathize with the creator, tailor an approach that best suits each creator’s situation, clarify complex matters for creators and beneficiaries, and suggest and negotiate progressive relationships for the remaining future years of the reclaimed works. As a path to increased earnings, plus an intrinsic value to estate preparation, termination plays a very important part.
A frequent byproduct of such research and communication is also the additional forensic reward of finding unrecovered royalties, contractual rights that were overlooked, and fixing sometimes decades-old mistakes. We have returned songs to the creator simply from discovering contractual clauses which permitted reversion, but to which the writer was unaware.
Still, at its core, Legacyworks is the leader in termination of copyright grants for songwriters and their heirs.