November 4, 2013 - It has been widely reported that the John Lennon
catalog of music, Lenono and
Yoko Ono Music have recently transferred administrative power of
attorney in the U.S. from Universal Music Publishing Group to
Downtown Music Publishing for several of the Beatle's earliest
popular songs. U.S. copyright terminations and reversions of
publishing rights for songs including “She Loves
Please Me”, and “I
Saw Her Standing There” to
the deceased songwriter John Lennon's estate, reportedly made it
possible for his estate to recapture Mr. Lennon's publishing
rights for his share of co-written songs. Paul McCartney's share
in the publishing rights were not recaptured .
The recapture of the U.S. first term copyrights is a
legislative safeguard for the protection of the intellectual
property of authors, widows and heirs of deceased authors who
retained financial interest in their compositions, for example,
Paul McCartney's company, MPL Communications acquired a catalog of
music, Preview Music (owned by Berle Adams and Louis Jordan) that
included the compositions of my Father, William J. Tennyson, Jr..
Because my Father, did not sell certain music
compositions outright to (Preview Music), the predecessor
publisher of Mr. McCartney's company, and rather because my Father
hired Preview Music to publish in his behalf, and because my
Father died before the end of the first term of copyright (24
years), there was a reversion of the copyright interest to the
estate of my Father, Bill Tennyson, Jr..
The current claimant of the music of Bill Tennyson,
Jr. is McCartney's company, MPL Communications. His company did
not lawfully acquire Bill Tennyson's music shares outright lock,
stock, and barrel by a sale to the publisher or predecessor,
because Bill Tennyson's songwriters contracts indicate that Bill
Tennyson, Jr. retained his financial interest in his music
compositions. Songwriters agreements were not renewed with the
predecessor publisher or with MPL Communications by the estate of
William J. Tennyson, Jr., yet Paul McCartney's company MPL
Communications has continued to siphon profits from the estate of
Bill Tennyson, Jr., when the predecessor music publishers breached
Bill Tennyson's songwriters contract years ago by not paying
royalties to the heirs of Bill Tennyson, Jr..
McCartney, who appeared on the Nov 7, cover of
Rolling Stone magazine this week, and in the pages within show
McCartney pictured with his wife and his 9 year old daughter. This
photograph made me think about the time when I had just turned 9
years old and my Father gave me a silver dollar. I was walking
with my Father Bill. Then suddenly, less than a month later, my
father died. After that, I remember freezing winter mornings in
New York, getting ready for school, with no heat. I remember
dumpster diving at the back of the supermarket for groceries.
There just wasn't any money. It was being hidden.
The music publishing copyright is supported by a
contract between the songwriter and the publisher, and differs
from the master recording copyright which is supported by a
contract between the recording artist and the record label. These
contractual documents are technical and legal matters related by a
licensing agreement between the music publisher or it's
subcontractor and the record label, and/or between the record
label and the distributor agency.
Quincy Jones (former producer and VP at
Mercury Records) filed a $10 million dollar breach of contract
lawsuit against Sony Music Entertainment and MJJ Productions,
which he says made deals to diminish his royalties. Jones stated
in the suit that some of Michael Jackson's master recordings
reverted from Sony to the Jackson Record Label, whereas Sony and
MJJ Productions (controlled by the Michael Jackson Estate)
thereafter entered into a joint venture, “disguising”
income from “master use licensing fees” as profits
rather than royalties.
The Hollywood Reporter, (October
25, 2013 - Eriq Gardner) Jones, has demanded an accounting,
alleging that the master recordings for the “Michael
Jackson, This is It” project and the “Michael
Jackson Cirque du Soleil” projects were remixed so as to
exclude him from profiting from Michael Jackson's posthumous
releases of songs including “Beat It”, “Don't
Stop 'til You Get Enough”, “Thriller”
and “Billy Jean”. Furthermore, Jones asserted
that Sony licensed the master recordings for the “This Is
It” film at a rate negotiated in disregard of the fair
market rate. Jones claims that he is a third party beneficiary who
is due up front and “back end” payment of royalties
because of contract stipulations between Epic Records (subsidiary
of Sony Music) and Michael Jackson.
Rihanna vs. Topshop
Wedlake Bell, an English group of attorneys based in
London recently reported that in July of this year, Topshop, a
fashion retailer was found by the English High Court to have
passed off t-shirts of pop star Rhihanna, by selling them without
her approval. Wedlake Bell hails this as a landmark decision in
favor of the artist.
According to Wedlake Bell, in a subsequent judgment,
the High Court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting Topshop
from unlawful use of Rihanna's image in the future. The court also
ordered Topshop to pay Rihanna's £919,000 costs. Damages are
yet to be assessed by the court.
News accounts on
music, business, politics, celebrity and property.
Free Market Royalty Act Summary:
H.R.3219 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)
bill was assigned to a congressional committee on September 30,
2013 which will consider it before sending it on to the...”
is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.
Introduced in House (09/30/2013)
Free Market Royalty Act - Amends federal copyright
law to provide a public performance right for all audio
transmissions of sound recordings, thereby extending such right to
require terrestrial AM/FM broadcast radio stations to pay
royalties for non-digital audio transmissions. (Currently, a
performance right for sound recordings is provided only with
respect to digital transmissions by cable, satellite, and Internet
Eliminates statutory licensing royalty rates set by
Copyright Royalty Judges (CRJs) for the public performance of
sound recordings by noninteractive digital audio services.
Allows any noninteractive services performing sound
recordings publicly by means of an audio transmission (including
cable, satellite, Internet, and AM/FM broadcasters) to
collectively negotiate royalty rates for such performances.
Designates SoundExchange, Inc. (an independent,
nonprofit organization that collects and distributes royalties),
or any successor entity, as the sole common agent to negotiate,
agree to, pay, and receive royalty payments.
Authorizes copyright owners of sound recordings, if a
license is agreed to by the common agent, to subsequently
negotiate and agree to royalty rates and license terms and
conditions with any noninteractive services for the performance of
such sound recordings (thus allows copyright owners to opt-out of
rates or conditions negotiated by the common agent and to instead
negotiate direct licenses for their recordings).
Sets forth the royalty payment distributions to be
made by the common agent to copyright owners, featured recording
artists, and non-featured musicians and vocalists.
Establishes procedures for CRJs to set rates and
terms for nonsubscription broadcasts consisting solely of
noncommercial educational and cultural radio programs when such
rates and terms are not negotiated and agreed upon collectively
between the common agent and the noncommercial educational
Modifies ephemeral recording requirements (licenses
to reproduce phonorecords to facilitate transmissions) to account
for the removal of statutory licensing procedures.
musicFIRST Endorses, NAB Opposes 'Free Market
September 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM (PT)
Indie music lobbying group MUSICFIRST COALITION has
endorsed Congressman MEL WATT’s introduction of the “Free
Market Royalty Act."
Domain Intellectual Properties and Lord Tennyson's copyrights in
number of years in the United States, there has been a prolific
number of publications and distributions of the writings of
Alfred, Lord Tennyson. I would guess that perhaps only the Holy
Bible, and the writings of William Shakespeare have enjoyed more
global popularity, providing an income to those who falsely
claimed to own the copyrights of Lord Tennyson. An explanation
given by some American book publishers is that Lord Tennyson's
writings are in the “Public Domain”, that the
copyrights have expired. This however, does not give book
publishers the right to reprint the books of Alfred, Lord Tennyson
and put their copyright mark on it. Furthermore, there have been
more interpretations, criticisms, analyses, reviews, opinions,
college courses of study, and such in regard to the writings and
history of Alfred, Lord Tennyson than can be counted. Throughout
my lifetime, this is what I have seen to be the case, just a total
ransacking of his intellectual properties. So while Lord Tennyson
has obviously been held in high regard, there are many who
disrespected his offspring, and profited from him. I am saying
that this taking for granted of the written works of Lord Tennyson
should not put my Father's work or my work in the public domain.
TANYA TENNYSON, EDITOR
Let me introduce myself. My legal name is Tanya
Tennyson. My birth name was Taene Tennyson. That is pronounced
Tiyheen. My nickname is Ty (Tai). My penname is Tiann Tennyson. I
was born in Brooklyn, and grew up in Hempstead, N.Y. I graduated
from Illinois State University in 1975 with a degree in Education.
Last year, in 2012, I informed my family, friends and the general
public that I was appointed by the New York State Courts, in the
United States of America, as the Administrator of the Estate of
musician and composer, William Joseph 'Bill' Tennyson, Jr., who
was my Father.
JOSEPH TENNYSON, JR.
WILLIAM J. TENNYSON, SR.
Tennyson was an American musician and composer, a family man born
in New Orleans in 1923, who died in New York in 1959, leaving
behind a widow and four children. Bill's mother Burdette was a
college graduate who died in New Orleans in 1930, during the Great
Depression. His father, William Tennyson, Sr., was a multilingual
who spoke Spanish, French, English and Portugese. Bill Tennyson,
Sr. was a college graduate who worked as a waiter on cruise ships
to Honduras, Panama, and South American destinations out of the
New Orleans Erato Street port. Bill Tennyson, Jr. graduated high
school in 1939 and attended Southern University for one year,
studying music composition. Sometime after 1940, Bill Tennyson,
Sr. remarried and relocated to Chicago, where he worked as a
Pullman waiter on the Louisiana to Illinois line. Bill Tennyson,
Sr. died in Cook County, Illinois in 1946.
As it turns out, there has been much work necessary
to build the estate of my Father, because his Estate listed no
“tangible” assets, and otherwise, a box of Bill
Tennyson's heirloom documents existed, including mostly sheet
music. Since 2006, I have researched the copyright assets of my
Father, and have documented the history of his intellectual
properties. Bill Tennyson was considered by some to be a genius,
and that is because he could compose a song at the drop of a hat.
He was a very sociable, happy go-lucky type of fella with talent,
confidence, and plenty of friends that he helped to promote. Bill
was not a shrinking violet. He liked to share his good fortune,
and enjoyed introducing new artists to producers in the music
business, mentoring them and helping them to hone their
Music performance and composition were Bill
Tennyson's source of income and he was proud to say that he was a
professional musician and an independent businessman. Bill
Tennyson, Jr. wrote a number of melodies that he sold outright,
such as "Sentimental Reasons" (credited to Deek Watson
and Pat Best) and "A Christmas Song" (credited to Mel
Torme) however, many of his songs were owned by him and were
copyrighted in his name, such as “Every Man To His Own
Profession” and ”It's a Great, Great Pleasure”.
At the time of his death in 1959, Bill Tennyson, Jr.
was a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and
Publishers (ASCAP), and he was a member of the Knights of Columbus
at Our Lady of Loretto Church in New York. Representatives and
attorneys were sent by the Catholic church to assist my Mother in
preparing for his funeral, and to establish my Father's estate at
the Surrogates' Court. A copyright was filed for my Father's
composition, “Someone”. The day after my Father's
death, ASCAP sent representatives to express sympathy for the loss
of my Father, and to help the widow, my Mother, to document the
ASCAP successors of composer, William J. Tennyson, Jr. for
purposes of distributing his royalties. In 2006, I was able to
recover the ASCAP registration documents for the successors of
Bill Tennyson, Jr. from ASCAP Estates and Claims. As guardian of
four minor children, my Mother was named successor of my Father,
but technically accommodations were never made by ASCAP to
distribute royalties to the other successors of William J.
The copyright documents of my Father, Bill Tennyson,
Jr. establish his personal legacy in music, and his property
rights, which I am honored to be one of the beneficiaries of.
Because I have never received any financial distribution from the
earnings of my Father's music, because I had no idea of the extent
of my Father's repertoire of songs, and because other music
publishers exploited my Father's music and deprived me of the
royalty income since 1959, my recent research and documentary
evidence puts me in the controversial position where I would be
remiss if I did not complain that I have been at the center of
political conspiracies all my life.
The political situations pretty much abstract,
controlled sometimes byhidden people watching, sometimes by people
in the family, situations with under-currents of itntrigue,
presumptions, embezzlement, secret dealmaking, slander, shadows
going about in the background, whispers, glass ceilings and
exclusions by people who knew more about my Father than I did.
TENNYSONS - HISTORICALLY
Why do I believe my Father, Bill Tennyson, Jr.,
(1923-1959) was direct descendant of Alfred, Lord Tennyson
(1809-1892), (England's poet laureate during the reign of Queen
In the banner
above are photographs of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and of my Father,
William Joseph 'Bill' Tennyson, Jr.. If anyone might
hypothetically have led a “Little Lord Fauntleroy”
life, it could have been my Father, 'Bill' Tennyson. There were
however, strange twists, deviating away from the “Little
Lord Fauntleroy” story plot. One of the deviations involved
the mystery of the incomplete estate settlement and the will of
Second Baron Hallam
(1852-1928) well decorated Governor of South Australia
(1899-1902), Governor-General of Australia(1903-1904), and son of
Baron Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
The Second Baron Hallam Tennyson's Aldworth Estate
properties in Surrey, County of Sussex, England were willed to his
son, (Third Baron) Lionel Tennyson, (1889-1951), while Hallam,
Lord Tennyson's Farringford Estate at Freshwater, on the Isle of
Wight, U.K. was hypothetically put into a trust after the Second
Baron Hallam Tennyson died in 1928. This management of Hallam
Tennyson's assets did not occuraccording to design.
In paragraph 1 of his will, Hallam Baron Tennyson
appointed Walter Charles Alan Ker, Charles Bruce Locker Tennyson
(nephew), and William Butler Wasbrough, Esq. as the EXECUTORS and
Trustees of his will for the purposes of the Settled Land Act 1925
and for the purposes of Section 102 of such Act, a conveyancing
device used by a property owner to ensure that future generations
of his family are provided for.