Dwight Yoakam Files Suit Against Warner Music Over Rights To His Best-known Recordings

Dwight Yoakam

Dwight Yoakam is locked in a fierce legal battle with giant record label conglomerate Warner Music over rights to some of his songs.

Yoakam filed a suit against Warner Music in federal court in California on Monday February 8th, claiming that the label has refused to confirm his right to reclaim the copyrights to some of his music.

The 64-year-old Country singer-cum-actor is demanding that Warner Music hands him rights to some of his older, best-known recordings.

Yoakam moved to court after the giant music label refused to confirm his right to reclaim the copyrights to some of his older music.

His legal filing claims that Warner Music subsidiary Rhino refused to definitively acknowledge that he has reclaimed the rights to certain works – specifically, his recordings of “Honky Tonk Man” and “Miner’s Prayer” despite repeated notices on his part of his intent to do so.

According to legal documents, Rhino countered his initial notices by proposing new terms for his existing deal and told the Country singer some works would be taken down after he sent a draft version of his legal complaint before filing his lawsuit.

Yoakam’s legal filing seeks a declaration of the termination of his copyrights and unspecified damages for alleged copyright infringement on the part of Warner Music. He is demanding a jury trial.

The sexagenarian is banking on Section 203 of the Copyright Act to secure a victory against Warner Music when the judge finally delivers the ruling.

Section 203 of the Copyright Act, a law passed in 1976, allows music authors of copyrighted works to cancel their copyright grants and regain the rights to those works after a specified period of time.

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