Assigning copyright and material breach reversions

The author’s of “songs” assigned their respective copyrights to Rive Droite with the latter having an obligation to pay royalties. The assignments included a clause providing that, if Rive Droite remained in material breach for x days after notice, the copyright reverted to the assignor. There was also one of those nice clauses that defined the assignee to include its successors and assigns.

Rive Droite assigned the copyright to Crosstown.

Disputes arose, however, about non-payment of royalties by Rive Droite.

The author assignors gave notice of material breach and Mann J (in the Chancery Division) upheld the automatic reversion of the copyright to them.

Crosstown Music Company v Rive Droite Music Ltd and others [2009] EWHC 600 (Ch) – lid dip IPKat who notes the impact of the reversion clause on the separate and independent national copyrights.