EXCLUSIVE “YMCA,” a song with many meanings and popular as a mainstream sports arena singalong, has been restored to its proper authors. Since it appeared in 1977, “YMCA” has always had three listed authors– Jacques Morali, Victor Willis, and Henry Bololo.
But yesterday, after a two week jury trial in San Diego federal district court, Bololo was removed from the copyright. Willis now shares “YMCA” 50-50 with Morali. Attorney Brian Caplan, who handles many intellectual property cases, represented Willis, an original member of the Village People. In addition to “YMCA,” Willis regained half ownership in eleven other songs.
For almost 40 years Bololo maintained that “YMCA” was one of several French songs he repurposed. But after two weeks of testimony, a jury decided that Morali wrote the music and Willis penned the now famous lyrics. The decision, going forward, is worth millions according to Caplan.