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Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal

Abstract

This Article examines the impact of In re Marriage of Worth, the only reported case which has considered the effect of California's community property law on an author's rights under the Copyright Act of 1976. The author challenges the California Court of Appeal's holding that a copyright is a community property asset. The court, when faced with a clear conflict between state and federal law, failed to preempt state law. Instead, the court created a situation which not only will be felt by spouses upon dissolution of marriage but also will be felt by the author-spouse who will no longer be able to freely exploit his or her works, during or after marriage. Moreover, licensees will now have to be more careful and exacting in their business practices, as will entertainment attorneys and others who deal with contract and copyright administration.

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