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Junior Walker's Family vs. Motown
Highest Court California Court of Appeal
Year Ended 2008
Plaintiffs Family of Artist(s)
Defendants Jobete Music
Other Walker, Junior
Short Description Plaintiffs were heirs to Autry De Walt's (Junior Walker's) recording legacy, and filed suit instate court against Jobete Music, a publishing company, requesting a declaration that certain "single song" publishing agreements Junior Walker signed in the 1960s did not convey copyright renewal interests. If Plaintiffs' suit were successful, they would, as his heirs, receive the rights to the songs' renewal terms. However, after a trial on the merits, the jury found that Plainitffs' main thrust was moot, since Walker plainly entered subsequent contracts superseding the earlier agreements and these later contracts explicitly provided for a transfer of renewal rights. Furthermore, the jury found that Jobete had not failed to pay Walker and his heirs royalties under the later agreements. On appeal, Plaintiffs, who brought their suit in state court, now argued the court lacked jurisdiction, as the issue was one of copyright, and thus within exclusively federal jurisdiction. The appellate court was unsympathetic to Plaintiffs' shift in perspective; the jury was not asked to decide any issues of copyright jurispridence, but only to decipher conractual language. Judgment for Defendants affirmed. - LSW

Legal Issues
Business Associations Fiduciary Relationships Fiduciary Duties
Contracts Breach Good Faith & Fair Dealing
    Payment & Performance
  Terms Declaratory Judgment
Copyrights Ownership Assignments, Licenses & Renewal Rights
General Affirmative Defenses Federal Preemption
  Equitable Remedies Accounting


Opinions De Walt v. Jobete Music Co., Inc.
2008 Copr.L.Dec. P 29,574 / 2008 WL 2252749
California Court of Appeal , June 03, 2008 ( No. B197108 )


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Related Searches Parties
Family of Artist(s) ( Plaintiff )
Jobete Music ( Defendant )
Walker, Junior ( Other )

Legal Issues
Business Associations / Fiduciary Relationships / Fiduciary Duties
Contracts / Breach / Good Faith & Fair Dealing
Contracts / Breach / Payment & Performance
Contracts / Terms / Declaratory Judgment
Copyrights / Ownership / Assignments, Licenses & Renewal Rights
General / Affirmative Defenses / Federal Preemption
General / Equitable Remedies / Accounting

Courts
California Court of Appeal (highest court)


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