Green’s “recapture project” wins Chitwood Award

Pooh coverMTSU senior Michael A. Green received the 2nd annual Chitwood Award for Excellence for his proposal that would allow acclaimed best-selling author Benjamin Hoff to reclaim ownership of his legendary book The Tao of Pooh.

The award was presented by associate professor and entertainment business attorney Deborah Wagnon, who teaches required copyright law courses for the Department of Recording Industry.

Each semester students studying copyright law must complete a “recapture project” which, as a part of the U.S. Copyright Act, allows creators of copyrights to terminate the rights of their publishers and reclaim ownership of their songs or books after a 35-year moratorium.

“[Students] research and execute the recapture of the copyrights to significant works of their targeted creators, whether songwriters or literary authors,” Wagnon explained. “This means Michael Green had to demonstrate a future plan of action for Benjamin Hoff that will be inventive and timely in the marketplace as of Dec. 31, 2018.”

Green said he selected Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh for his project because “it inspired me as a teenager.”

Dean Ken Paulson, Associate Professor Deborah Wagnon, MTSU Senior Michael Green, Recording Industry Chair Beverly Keel celebrate Green's Chitwood Award of Excellence in Copyright Law, presented in the Baldwin Photographic Gallery.

Dean Ken Paulson, Associate Professor Deborah Wagnon, MTSU senior Michael Green and Recording Industry Chair Beverly Keel celebrate Green’s Chitwood Award of Excellence in Copyright Law, presented in the Baldwin Photographic Gallery.

“The material was very personal to me,” he continued, “so it was a joy to find new ways to use it after Mr. Hoff recaptures the copyright. Plus, as a musician and writer, the knowledge I gained through this project is very applicable to my own future copyrights.”

Wagnon she will contact Hoff’s representatives to present Green’s proposal.

MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry inaugurated the Chitwood Award of Excellence in fall 2014 to honor recording industry major David “Ritt” Chitwood, who was killed in a January 2014 traffic accident near campus. Wagnon began the Recapture Project in 2011 for her copyright law classes to encourage research and legal detail as well as creativity and entrepreneurial thinking.

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