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Rocker seeks full rights to 'Eye of Tiger'

Oct. 2, 2011 at 2:20 PM   |   Comments

CHICAGO, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Chicago rocker Jim Peterik says he is striking a blow for songwriters everywhere by pursuing the full rights to his 1982 hit "Eye of the Tiger."

Peterik, who co-wrote the song as a member of Survivor with Frankie Sullivan, is exercising his "termination rights" to the ballad under an obscure copyright law that limits ownership of rights by record companies to 35 years.

Peterik told the Chicago Sun-Times his campaign "is about saving artists and writers from unscrupulous publishing deals. It's a godsend for the songwriter."

The newspaper said that if successful, Peterik and Sullivan would own the full rights to the song, which regularly crops up on commercials and at sports venues across the United States. "When I get my publishing (rights) back, I'll be making twice as much on a ball game that uses 'Eye of the Tiger,'" Peterik said.

The Sun Times said artists from Bob Dylan to Tom Petty and the estates of Buddy Holly and George Gershwin have already applied for termination rights. The recording industry has not commented on Peterik's case, but the newspaper said the industry would likely oppose the application on the grounds he was a "worker for hire" who turned over song rights in perpetuity.

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