From seva: "...an artist (author, etc). should simply include a "Right Of
clause, so that if something is out of print, then all rights revert
to the originating author..."
My understanding is that this is pretty common. Artists owning their masters
and leasing them to a label for various periods of time has also been pretty
common since the mid 1950s, if not even earlier.
There's a famous story about a conversation between Frank Sinatra and his
lawyer wondering why he almost never saw one of his best films being played,
"The Manchurian Candidate." His lawyer told him, "As I recall, you own that
film as part of the deal. Maybe you never renewed the distribution
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