Village People Singer Wins Copyright Case

Victor Willis has finally won a share of the income from his most famous song. The New York Times reports Willis, you know him as the police officer, has emerged from six years of legal wrestling with a new copyright in hand. The victory gives him substantial control over "YMCA" and 32 other Village People tunes.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's Last Word In Business is more of an acronym. Village People singer Victor Willis has finally won a share of the income from his most famous song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YMCA")

VILLAGE PEOPLE: (Singing) Young man, there's no need to feel down. I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground...

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The New York Times reports that Willis - you know him as the police officer - has emerged from six years of legal wrestling with a new copyright in hand. The victory gives him substantial control over "YMCA" and 32 other Village People tunes.

INSKEEP: He said he's considering a move that would ban Village People songs from being performed by his former bandmates. Yes - the Cowboy, the Construction Worker, the Indian and all the rest are still around and touring, but without Mr. Willis. So today's Last Word In Business is - sing it with me; here it comes. Here it comes...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YMCA")

VILLAGE PEOPLE: (Singing) ...It's fun to stay at the YMCA...

INSKEEP, MONTAGNE: (Singing along) YMCA...

INSKEEP: And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YMCA")

VILLAGE PEOPLE: (Singing) ...Wake up all the boys. It's fun to stay at the YMCA. It's fun to stay at the YMCA...

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