Often, dynamite musicians and authors are lassoed into harsh and unfavorable publishing and recording contracts long before they become famous. This usually means that they have no bargaining power to negotiate more favorable contract terms (since they’re not famous or successful yet)… and once they become successful and famous, they have already signed and bound themselves and their copyrighted works to an unfavorable contract.
Is there a chance to recapture your copyright and negotiate better contract terms after you’re famous and have more bargaining power? YES! Although, it takes a few decades for this option to become available and it is subject to a specific and detailed, procedural obstacle course.
Depending on when a work was released and with certain exceptions, authors and musicians have a chance to recapture their copyrighted materials that have been assigned to publisher or producer and renegotiate contracts 28, 35 or 56 years after the work was created. While this doesn’t give an immediate do-over… if the song, album, novel or comic strip is a hit …this can help recapture the copyright and revenue for the creator.
[the Legal term for this is Copyright Termination. Although this name is slightly misleading since it doesn’t necessarily mean that the copyright is entirely terminated.. but rather assignments are terminated and the copyright can revert back to the creator.]