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Court Revives Copyright Suit Against DM Records

(CN) - A copyright infringement claim against DM Records is back on, after the 5th Circuit determined that Alvert Music has standing to sue over the rights to the tunes "Dazzey Duks" and "Whoomp! (There It Is)."

In 1999 DM Records bought the assets of the now-defunct Bellmark Records, including rights to the two compositions.

Alvert and DM Records sparred over who owned the rights to those compositions. Alvert sued in 2002, but the case didn't land in the right venue until 2008.

In that interim, Alvert, facing financial hardship, decided to sell a partial interest in the copyrights to Bridgeport Music.

DM Records argued that Alvert no longer had standing to sue, because it had sold Bridgeport its rights to copyright infringement claims. Alvert insisted that it kept half its ownership share in the tunes under the assignment agreement.

The New Orleans-based federal appeals court agreed with Alvert's reading of the contract.

"Viewing the contract as a whole and giving meaning to all its terms, we find that the assignment did not deprive Alvert Music of its right to pursue the copyright infringement claims at issue in this case," Judge Engelhardt wrote.

The court reversed and remanded.

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