Allen Secretov was recently quoted in the Bloomberg Law article “Tupac Song Rights Suit Turns on High Court ‘Discovery Rule’ Case,” which examines Rap producer Terence Thomas’s lawsuit over the rights to Tupac Shakur’s 1990s hit song “Dear Mama.” Thomas alleges that another producer usurped credit and royalties for his part in creating the song with Shakur.
The article emphasizes that Thomas filed his suit just as the Supreme Court began contemplating broadening access for copyright holders who are unaware of rights violations, having agreed to hear Chappell Warner Music Inc. v. Nealy, a separate dispute over alleged infringement that Nealy was unaware of due to being in prison at the time. The High Court’s decision in Chappell Warner Music Inc. v. Nealy could certainly sway Thomas’s case, a coincidence that his counsel may be counting on. Still, the suits are in opposite circuits and also split across entertainment meccas Los Angeles and New York, creating a “difficult question with uncomfortable hypotheticals on either side.”
“Just like any property owner you want to have confidence in what it is you own and certainly over how it will be treated,” Allen tells Bloomberg Law. However, regardless of the outcomes of both cases, some may still be left frustrated by the statute of limitations on such claims. Allen shares that while it’s “unfortunate” someone who was wronged can’t necessarily reach into the “heyday” of their work, “for the rule to be made workable there have to be winners and losers.”
See the full article here.