Reach Music Publishing and the Boardwalk Publishing Group have formed a joint venture publishing partnership. In its first move, the new initiative signed former Village People lead singer Victor Willis to an administration agreement, which means it will handle his share of such songs as "YMCA," "In the Navy," and "Go West."
Willis, who co-wrote many of the group's songs, won back his share of the publishing through U.S. copyright law that allows songwriters to recapture publishing by sending a termination notice to the original publisher, and then provides for song ownership to revert to the original writer 35 years after first being published. But Willis also faced a lawsuit about whether a single co-writer had the right to terminate his portion of the publishing or if all the co-writers had to send termination notices, a highly publicized case he won.
“Reuniting with Victor Willis is quite literally bringing the family back together," said Tim Bogart son of the late Neil Bogart, who founded Boardwalk Records and recorded the Village People. "As one of the signature artists of my father’s career, we couldn’t be more thrilled to be working together again."
In addition to monetizing and collecting royalties from Youtube and other digital services, Reach and Boardwalk will pursue synchronization licensing and creative opportunities in the U.S. for Willis' portion of “YMCA” and other Village People titles.
Beyond the Willis signing, the Reach-Boardwalk venture has signed songwriters Willie Brown, co-writer of “Prescription/Oxymoron” on the Schoolboy Q album, "Oxymoron," which is No. 1 in the Billboard 200 in the chart published in the March 15 edition of Billboard Magazine; Tom Peyton, a member of the hip hop/pop project Wallpaper; and Mercury recording artist Nova Rockefeller. These are all worldwide co-publishing deals, with Reach Music providing the financing, infrastructure and global administration services.