Legal Question in Entertainment Law in New Jersey

My brother recorded a song before he passed away and did not copyright it. Now a popular music group have recorded it for sale. Is there a legal recourse?

Asked on 2/24/15, 11:54 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Roman Fichman Esq. Law Practice of Roman Fichman Esq.

Your brother's estate / heirs do indeed have legal recourse. You may not know it, but every piece of creative work is automatically copyrighted upon its creation. A copyright holder may also choose to register the work and that would give them additional rights. One can register the work at any time though it's better to register it immediately upon creation.

Please have your brother's the estate executor and/or his hears reach out to me as soon as possible.

Roman R. Fichman, Esq. │ @TheLegalist

email: Info (@) TheLegalists (dot) com

t e l : 2 1 2 -- 3 3 7 -- 9 8 3 7

Disclaimer: This post has been written for educational purposes only and was not meant to be legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice or be relied upon. No intention exists to create an attorney-client relationship or any other special relationship or privilege through this post. The post may contain errors, inaccuracies and/or omissions. You should always consult an attorney admitted to practice in your jurisdiction for specific advice. This post may be deemed as Attorney Advertising.

Read more
Answered on 2/25/15, 5:17 am
Frank Natoli Natoli-Legal, LLC

Perhaps. As noted, copyright protection affixes automatically upon creation. But in order to receive the full bundle of rights this work must be registered with the copyright office. This registration can occur at anytime, but it must be done prior to bringing any action to federal court. If however the registration occurs after the infringement you will lose your right to ask the court to award statutory damages and attorney fees. This means that it is possible there will be no benefit to filing an action unless there are real damages to be had and the use of this material made the infringer a lot of money.

You will also have to show that the infringer had access to this material or it was so substantially similar that no reasonable person could not conclude that it was copied.

You would be best to start with discussing the whole thing over with IP counsel in order to figure out a best course of action.

If you would like to discuss further over a free phone consult, feel free to contact me anytime that is convenient.

Our firm is now referred by the American Bar Association (see under the New York section):

Kind regards,



[email protected]

DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.

Read more
Answered on 2/25/15, 12:17 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Entertainment & Sport Law questions and answers in New Jersey