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Thin Line Between Rich and Poor
Highest Court S.D. New York
Year Ended 2009
Plaintiffs Songwriter(s)
Defendants Warner-Chappell Music
Other Cotillion Music
Persuaders
Short Description This case is an unfortunate example of what happens when parties do not act on their rights. Plaintiff is a co-writer of the 1971 hit song, "Thin Line Between Love and Hate," which was popularized by the singing group The Persuaders and covered by numerous other musicians over the years. Plaintiff signed two contracts, in 1971 and 1972, with Atlantic Records' publishing arm, Cotillion Music, the predecessor to Defendant. According to the first contract, Plaintiff assigned 50% interest in the copyright to "Thin Line" to Cotillion. Plaintiff claimed the 1972 contract cancelled the '71 transfer, but Defendant claimed it ratified the earlier agreement. In 1988, Plaintiff initiated a lawsuit against Defendant, claiming full ownership of the song. This suit eventually lost steam and was not resolved. In 1998, prior to the song's renewal term, Defendant alerted Plaintiff that it would continue to pay him 50%, as it had been, despite the good faith dispute over the song's ownership. However, when the instant suit was brought, in 2004, Plaintiff had long since lost his causes of action due to statutes of limitation. The statute began running on his original complaint in 1988, when he hired an attorney, and thus barred actions after 1991. His lawsuit regarding the renewal interest was also barred, since the three-year copyright statute of limitation would have run out in 2002, three years after the renewal period began. Either way, his current claims were barred. - LSW

Legal Issues
Copyrights Infringement Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
  Ownership Assignments, Licenses & Renewal Rights
    Declaratory Judgment
General Affirmative Defenses Statutes of Limitation


Opinions Poindexter v. Warner/Chappell Music Inc.
372 Fed.Appx. 103
Second Circuit , March 23, 2010 ( No. 09-1192-cv )


Poindexter v. Warner/Chappell Music Inc.
2009 WL 302064
S.D. New York , February 09, 2009 ( No. 06 Civ. 3403(LTS)(DCF) )


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Related Searches Parties
Cotillion Music ( Other )
Persuaders ( Other )
Songwriter(s) ( Plaintiff )
Warner-Chappell Music ( Defendant )

Legal Issues
Copyrights / Infringement / Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
Copyrights / Ownership / Assignments, Licenses & Renewal Rights
Copyrights / Ownership / Declaratory Judgment
General / Affirmative Defenses / Statutes of Limitation

Courts
S.D. New York (highest court)
Second Circuit


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