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1. Shearing Sued by Owner of Shearing Song
Highest Court S.D. New York
Year Ended 1981
Plaintiffs Record Label(s)
Defendants Levy, Morris
Music Publisher(s)
Shearing, George
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Sir Shearing is a jazz pianist who has charted from the 1950s through the 1990s and created a piano technique called "Shearing's voicing." In 1952, he assigned all copyrights up to the end of the twenty-eight year term to a composition called "Lullaby of Birdland" to the Defendant, a publisher. In 1953, the Defendant assigned some rights to the Plaintiff. That contract also gave the Plaintiff the rights to the renewed copyright, should the Defendant have control. Later, Shearing assigned the renewal rights to another Defendant, the son of the original assignee. The Plaintiff claimed that this transfer was done to defeat their interests and defraud them of the interest they purchased in 1953. The Defendants claimed that although they had a familial relationship, their companies were separate. Although there was no personal liability, the Court found there were issues of fact because the Plaintiff's contract covered the original Defendant's ownership or control of the entity. In this case, the Defendant has a majority position in the son's company. - JMC


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