Austin Weatherly, ‘Intellectual Heirs Property: Why Certain Musical Copyrights Should be Included in the Heirs Property Reform Movement’

ABSTRACT
The modern heirs property reform movement seeks to ameliorate the issues caused by the procedures governing the inheritance of real property from landowners who die intestate. This procedure can have a negative impact on heirs and the value of their inherited property. The reform movement, as it stands, only seeks to resolve the issues created by these procedures in the real property context. The rhetorical basis for the modern heirs property reform movement largely focuses on closing the racial wealth gap in the United States and slowing the wealth bleed from one black generation to the next. Many of the same arguments that support the current heirs property reform movement apply to musical copyrights, which are often inherited through the same procedure that creates heirs property in the real property context. For example, both forms of property share a history of racially disparate impact under the law. Though real heirs property issues are a significantly larger contributor to the racial wealth gap, the heirs property reform movement should broaden its scope to include musical copyrights that are inherited by the same procedures that create heirs property in the real property context.

Austin Weatherly, Intellectual Heirs Property: Why Certain Musical Copyrights Should be Included in the Heirs Property Reform Movement, 29 Journal of Intellectual Property Law 418 (2022).

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