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"Village People" lead singer can partially own songs again

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Posted: May 9, 2012 11:44 AM
Updated: May 9, 2012 11:44 AM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: village, people, lead, singer, reclaim, partial, ownership, songs

LOS ANGELES - A judge in Los Angeles says the original lead singer of the Village People can reclaim at least partial ownership of the copyrights to more than two dozen of the group's songs, including "Y.M.C.A.," ''Macho Man," and "In the Navy."

U.S. District Judge Barry T. Moskowitz on Monday rejected a lawsuit by two music publishers who argued Victor Willis had no right to regain ownership of 33 songs he co-wrote for the group under contract.

It's the first test of a decades-old copyright provision and could mean millions in additional royalties for Willis.

Willis said the judge's decision will benefit all songwriters.

But Stewart Levy, an attorney for Scorpio Music and Can't Stop Productions, said the ruling doesn't lay out how much Willis will get and the case is far from over.

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