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Bourne Co. Music Publishers

Bourne Co. Music Publishers


What is Bourne Co. Music Publishers?

Bourne Co. Music Publishers is located in New York and is one of the largest international music publishers around the world.  They specialize in the publishing of sheet music, and according to the Music Publishers Association of the United States, they hold the following imprints:


Schumann Music Co.

Murbo Music Publishing, Inc.

International Music Co.

Goldmine Music Company

Van Heusen Music

Bogat Music

Bourne Co.

Ben Bloom Music Co.

Better Half Music

Beebourne Music Co.

Bach Music Company

A B C Music


Lawsuits Involving Bourne Co. Music Publishers

The music publisher has been involved in several cases, and the majority of the cases occurred in the mid to late 1990s.  Some of the cases are described below:


Woods v. Bourne 60 F. 3d 978 (2d Cir. 1995)

The case involved rights of the plaintiff, Wood, to terminate a license or transfer under the Copyright Statute, §304.  During the case, heirs of composer Harry Woods wanted to claim royalties that were generated by the use of the song “When the Red, Red, Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along.” 


The plaintiffs claimed that had rights to terminate the rights of Bourne’s interests in the song because they has statutory rights under 17 U.S.C. §304(c).  The defendant, Bourne, claimed they were entitled to all royalties because of post-termination rules during a time in copyright law called an extended renewal term.  In other words, Bourne claimed they could use the song because they developed “derivative works” before the plaintiff’s terminated the license or transfer. 


The royalties were generated by use of the song on television programs and movies, radio performances, and sales of the published song material. 


The district court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, but Bourne Co. Music Publisher appealed the findings and won the case.  The appeal court found that audio and visual works were allowed to “continue to exploit the underlying work reproduced within them regardless whether the reproduction standing alone qualifies as a derivative work.” 


The court did find that the published sheet music was not “substantially different from the underlying work,” and they were ordered to stop exploiting the song through the printed media. 


Bourne v. Walt Disney Co., 68 F.3d 621 (2d Cir. 1995)

During the same year, Bourne Co. Music Publishers filed a complaint against the Walt Disney Company for copyright infringement.  Bourne claimed that Disney committed copyright infringement after they sold videocassettes that used Bourne’s published compositions for “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” as well as “Pinocchio.” 


Bourne also claimed Disney committed copyright infringement by using compositions in television commercials.  The court sided with Disney as far as copyright infringement with the videos, but the court sided with Bourne about the television commercials. 


Bourne Co. Music Publishers has faced criticism from the public community several times as well.  In one case, Bourne demanded payments for copyright fees after a girl ten years of age used the song called “Smile” for an online video used for charity. 


Source: https://cip.law.ucla.edu/cases/1990-1999/Pages/woodsbourne.aspx