Songwriters Guild Backs Victor Willis of The Village People in Copyright Lawsuit

12.21.2011

By Max Berlinger

Willis sees industry support in his fight for control over his work.

Copyright laws are really confusing and boring things, but that being said, people who've created a "work of art" (let's use that term really, really loosely) that continues to bring in the moola should benefit from that cashflow, right? How else is Whitney Houston going to support her drug habit? Anway, those continued profits and their ownership serve as the crux of a legal battle that Victor Willis, the cop and the naval officer of The Village People, is currently embroiled in. Willis just wants his fair share of the profits from his work—including the classic pro-bathhouse anthem, "Y.M.C.A."—and is thus challenging the U.S. Copyright Act. The Hollywood Reporter lays out the nitty-gritty deets here: "Artists are allowed to terminate a copyright grant 35 years after first publishing, and since the 'termination' provision went into effect in 1978, it's expected that many musicians will attempt to wrest back control of their works from publishers and record labels. Many in the music industry are watching the Willis battle closely." Uh, yeah, sure. 

Listen, all this legal jargon is making my brain hurt, but I want as many gay men to be as rich as possible (more sugar daddies!), so I'm all for Willis coming out on top in this suit. This man has basically entertained anyone who's ever been to a bat/bar mitzvah for the past three decades, and he deservese a big house and a nice car for his efforts. And for those of you who don't really care (that would be me, raising my hand), just ignore all this mumbo-jumbo and allow yourself to be transfixed by the beauty that is the original video for "Y.M.C.A," below: 

 

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