PSA: Shake up in Napoli - or how O Sole Mio and 22 other songs got a new co-author


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Posts: 175

Moebeus @ 2017-06-09 19:52:48 UTC

I wrote a thing, have a look: Alfredo Mazzucchi

Composer known for being the co-author with Eduardo Di Capua of several famous Neapolitan songs like «'O sole mio», «Maria Marì» and «I' te vurria vasa'» .

Depending on who you believe, Mazzucchi was either a cynical song thief re-publishing the songs of others, or he was a young, talented composer exploited by his mentor, the already famous Di Capua; Mazzucchi would play him his compositions, if Di Capua liked them he would release them as his own.

In 1976 music publishing house Ferdinando Bideri sent an official letter to the Italian rights office (UPLAS), requesting Mazzucchi be recognized as co-author of dozens of songs previously credited to Eduardo Di Capua alone. UPLAS, filing an appeal, opposed the complaint.

Finally, after a legal battle that lasted almost three decades, a verdict was issued in March 2002 by the Tribunal in Turin, recognizing Alfredo Mazzucchi as co-author of the melody of 23 songs in total. These will remain under his copyright until 2042 (or 70 years after the death of the author).


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CarlDennis @ 2017-06-09 20:42:01 UTC

And what have agencies/organisations done with this 2002 verdict? I mean ISWC, GEMA, SACEM, SABAM and so on?

Another famous example is Bertolt Brecht and his secretarial assistent/sometimes lover Elisabeth Hauptmann. She is now listed as co-author of The Die Dreigroschenoper (1928) for which she probably wrote the majority of the text and did thus more than just provide a German translation of John Gay's "The Beggar's Opera". She reportedly wrote at least half of the Mahagonny-Songspiel but was not credited. She was the main text author of the musical comedy Happy End (1929), but her name was hidden behind Dorothy Lane (an alias of Elisabeth and Bertolt Brecht).

But you see, the poor woman just adored Der Bert Brecht...............

Last edit: 2019-02-09 07:08:44 UTC by CarlDennis