The Forgotten Asset: Copyright Law for Estate Planners

What is a copyright? Who owns the copyright? What happens to the copyright when the copyright-holder passes away?

Certified franchise and distribution law specialist Dawn Newton, and Daniel Schacht, co-counsel for the litigation team that released “Happy Birthday to You” into the public domain, will be presenting on copyright law for estate planners this September.

This presentation is designed for estate planners covering:

  • An overview of the right of copyright termination and how this right can return a transferred interest back to the original artist
  • An overview of copyright law in the context of community property
  • Best practice tips when dealing with artist conveyances, and updates to your estate planning questionnaire

This introduction to copyright law will focus on the right of termination for copyrights which allows creators and their statutory heirs to reclaim rights in copyrighted works.


Dawn Newton helps clients safeguard and preserve their intellectual property, such as creating and registering new marks and expanding marks internationally, advising on issues raised by new forms of media, and developing strategies to protect and enhance intellectual property. In addition to her intellectual property practice, Dawn is a certified specialist in Franchise & Distribution Law by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization.

Daniel Schacht works with creative entrepreneurs and content creators to protect their rights in traditional and emerging media. As the head of the firm’s Music and Entertainment Practice and co-chair of the Intellectual Property Practice Group, he practices general business and entertainment law and focuses on copyrights and trademarks, from registration to licensing to litigation. He has represented talented individuals and international businesses in a myriad of negotiations, as well as at trial, appeals, arbitration, and mediation.


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