The Kingsmen, a rock band formed in 1958, recorded a rock classic entitled Louie Louie. The band members contracted with


The Kingsmen, a rock band formed in 1958, recorded a rock classic entitled “Louie Louie.” The band members contracted with Spector Records in 1968, which provided that the band would receive 9 percent of the future licensing fees and profits generated by the song. Spector subsequently assigned its rights under the agreement to Gusto Records and G.M.L., Inc. In 1993, the Kingsmen sued Gusto, G.M.L., and Highland Music for rescission of the contract and back royalties calculated from the date that the suit was filed. They sought rescission because that would result in the restoration of their title to and possession of the master. The band alleged that the defendants and their predecessors in title had for thirty years failed to pay the band its contracted share of royalties. The defendants argued that the action was barred by the four-year statute of limitations and that the plaintiffs were not entitled to income produced pursuant to licenses that predated the rescission. The trial court ruled in favor of the Kingsmen. The defendants appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals (9th Circuit). Should the Kingsmen prevail on appeal?

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Question Posted: September 15, 2012 07:20:14