After a trial that lasted nearly a month, Victor Willis wins the right to remove a formerly credited French author from 13 group songs.
Village People singer-songwriter Victor Willis has finally prevailed in reclaiming 50 percent of the copyright to many of the group's songs, including "Y.M.C.A."
For four years, Willis has been in a legal battle that has been closely followed in the music industry because it dealt with a portion of copyright law that allows authors to terminate copyright grants. When Congress amended copyright to permit this in the mid-1970s, it was done with an eye on giving authors 35 years hence the benefit of the latter portions of a newly extended term. Ever since, many studios, record companies and publishers have braced themselves for the eventual fallout.