Seven of Ray Charles' twelve children recently persuaded an American court to allow them, his heirs, to reclaim copyrights on around 60 of his best known songs, reported Variety this week.
It is a very complicated case, but in essence, in 2010 the seven offspring of Mr Charles served termination notices to end the copyright grant on the works that had been given to music publishers Warner/Chappell Music. According to Variety, the relevant state law gives authors or, where the author is deceased, the author’s heirs, the ability to reclaim ownership of their works once a set length of time has passed.
The music publisher did not challenge the termination notices but the Ray Charles Foundation did, as it benefits from the copyright royalties. Among other things, the foundation argued that the children had each been granted $500,000 trusts in exchange for waiving all rights against Mr Charles' estate.
In a long and complicated ruling, the US District Judge found in favour of the heirs. On the issue of the trusts granted in return for waiving rights in the estate, she found that as probate on the estate had been completed in 2006, well before the notices were served, the termination notices were not actually a claim against the estate.
We are regularly instructed by overseas solicitors whose clients have assets in Scotland, while domiciled overseas.
We can help with
The death of a loved one is a difficult and stressful time. Our Scottish executry solicitors, based in Glasgow, can help bring your loved one’s affairs to a swift conclusion.
The death of a loved one can be a traumatic and emotional event, we understand this and can offer clear, impartial advice on all aspects of obtaining confirmation.
Wilson and Fish act for lawyers and clients all over the world. We can help you wind up a loved one’s estate in Scotland wherever in the world you are located.
Why Choose Us?
We are a niche firm specialising in Executry, Probate & Estate Administration.
"A thorough understanding of everything they dealt with."; "I cannot recommend this firm highly enough. They are excellent at what they do."
Our basis for charging fees is always made clear at the start. We do not charge on the value of the Estate. We can offer fixed fees in many cases.
"At the outset they clearly set out their fee structure which was very fair and proportionate".
Read more Client Reviews.
Take a look at what our Clients say about Wilson & Fish and our service.
"Knowledge of law excellent”; “excellent service”; “always happy to help”; “A thoroughly professional service from them from start to finish.”
"Thank you for following up with Scottish Power to resolve the issue of amount owed to the estate of the late Marjory Friel. I'd also like to thank you, Mark and the whole office for your expertise and diligence in settling the estate. I plan to visit Glasgow on my visit to the UK."
L. Thompson, Sanbruno, California
Wilson & Fish
Wilson and Fish Solicitors are a firm of Scottish solicitors specialising in executry / probate. We are based in Glasgow but act for clients throughout Scotland and abroad.
We also advise foreign solicitors in connection with their clients’ estates based in Scotland.
The most professional, proficient and helpful company I have been lucky enough to find and use their servicesG.Will, Glasgow.
Read more of our Reviews here
Our lawyers and advisors provide clear and unambiguous advice to help our clients plan for their future. At difficult and painful times following bereavement they provide sympathetic assistance to guide our clients through what can be complicated and sensitive issues.