Victor Willis, better known as The Village People’s Policeman, has just regained the band’s right to royalties in a recent court case. Willis is the first songwriter to take advantage of an amendment to the US Copyright Act, though it seems that many famed songwriters will be following suit.
Willis, the original lead singer of The Village People claimed partial ownership of a good portion of The Village People’s songs, most notably for the famous “YMCA”. As reported by The Guardian, this is particularly significant because it sets a precedent in the United States that allows songwriters the right to claim back the publishing rights to their old songs. Willis was taking advantage of the amendments made to the US Copyright Act in 1978, which allows songwriters to terminate their copyright deals 35 years after they are signed. As reported by NME, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Eagles will be following suit shortly.