A court has ordered heirs of German composer Richard Strauss to share royalties with the heirs of librettist and poet Hugo von Hoffmansthal for nine collaborations, including the popular operas Der Rosenkavalier and Elektra.
In a decision made public yesterday, the Munich state court found that letters and agreements between the two men made it clear they intended to share the income.
While restoring royalty payments for the Hoffmansthal side, the judges turned back requests for royalties from record sales and performances that did not include text.
Payments to the heirs of Hoffmansthal, who died in 1929, stopped in 1999 after the 70-year protection period ended.
The Strauss rights still stand because he died in 1949, and the 70-year period has not expired.