Heirs of Marc Bolan Pursue Lawsuit Over Rights to Music

Posted on Aug 05, 2013

During the administration of an estate, many unanticipated issues might arise. For the son and other heirs of musician Marc Bolan, these issues surround the ownership of many of his father’s most famous songs. Bolan has filed a lawsuit over the right to use these songs. The suit was filed in a federal court in California.

Rolan Feld, the plaintiff, was just a few days short of his second birthday when his father died in 1977. Feld is seeking $2 million in damages from a music publisher who he alleges has continued to exploit the songs. Feld plans to pursue additional legal actions in the future. 

While most copyrights are subject to time limitations, a 1990 Supreme Court decision over Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window held that Congress intended to secure “to the author’s family the opportunity to exploit the work if the author died before he could register for the renewal term.” Feld is attempting to take advantage of this benefit. The music publisher, Westminster Music Ltd., is objecting.

Feld argues that his father’s heirs are entitled to millions of dollars in damages. He accuses the publisher of streaming his father’s songs on a Myspace web page, as well as licensing others to use the composition. He asserts claims of copyright infringement and conversion.

Protecting the rights of the beneficiaries of an estate is an essential aspect of a trust or estate administration. Contact our office of experienced Anaheim trust attorneys today for further information about implementing an estate plan in California. Call our office at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation.

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James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm