Battle between exes over Copyright Royalties


Palak Arora 02/04/22 #Copyright #Trademark #infringement #intellectualproperty #IPR #IPRinfo #IPlaw #IPRrights #Trademarkclickcom #entrepreneur #Royalty #BeachBoys #BrianWilson #BrotherPublishing #UniversalMusicCorp #US #CopyrightLaw #CaliforniaGirls #MarilynWilsonRutherford

Marilyn Wilson-Rutherford recently has sued Wilson seeking a share of royalties that she is claiming he owes her from some of the band’s famous songs. She is the first wife of one of the co-founders of Beach Boys, Brian Wilson. The lawsuit was moved from Los Angeles State Court to Federal Court. Wilson-Rutherford requested the court to pass an order against Wilson for paying her at least $ 6.7 million from song rights that he sold to a Universal Music Corp affiliate last year and for further a full accounting of royalties that Wilson owes her from the past whole seven years.

Wilson and Wilson-Rutherford got married in 1964 and parted ways in 1978. Marilyn claims that she co-wrote some of the Beach Boys’ biggest hits of all time including California Girls, Wouldn’t It Be Nice and Good Vibrations. A divorce settlement was executed between the two in the year 1981 which was also attached to the lawsuit and read as: “Wilson-Rutherford owns half of the rights in 170 compositions Wilson created during their marriage.”

Wilson-Rutherford’s lawsuit said, “The $6.7 million she is requesting is for the sale of his reversion rights. The U.S. Copyright Law allows artists to reclaim copyrights they had previously transferred away after decades, and Wilson owes her proceeds from the sale of copyrights he recently reclaimed.” Wilson-Rutherford also asked the court in her lawsuit to pass a few directions for calculation of how much Wilson may owe her in other royalties and also proceeds from the sale of his company named Brother Publishing.

Wilson’s attorney Eric Custer of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips called the lawsuit a business dispute between Brian and his ex-wife that should be resolved in Federal Court but not in a state court. However, Wilson-Rutherford originally filed her lawsuit in state court last month through her attorney Joseph Mannis of Hersh Mannis.

The case can be reached with the name Wilson v. Wilson-Rutherford, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California bearing case no.2:22-cv-01982.

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