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Village People star wins copyright court battle

Victor Willis has been granted partial ownership of the rights to YMCA, Macho Man and other Village People hits.

The Village People.
The Village People.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

A JUDGE IN LOS Angeles says the original lead singer of the Village People can reclaim at least partial ownership of the copyrights to more than two dozen of the group’s songs, including “YMCA”, ”Macho Man” and “In the Navy.”

US District Judge Barry T Moskowitz rejected a lawsuit by two music publishers who argued Victor Willis had no right to regain ownership of 33 songs he co-wrote for the group under contract.

The case was the first test of a decades-old copyright provision and could mean millions in additional royalties for Willis.

The former San Diego resident told U-T San Diego that the ruling benefits all songwriters.

But Stewart Levy, an attorney for Scorpio Music and Can’t Stop Productions, told the New York Times that the judge’s decision doesn’t lay out how much Willis will get and says that the case is far from over.

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