Janet Jackson owning the masters to her A&M recordings can't be true: why in the hell would
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis give her 100% of the copyrights to songs they wrote? Either they
are kind hearted souls or unbelievably stupid.
Master recordings & publishing/copyrights are two different things. That's why you don't have to get permission to remake a song, but you do to sample a song. Jam and Lewis have nothing to do with masters to songs they produced or wrote. They belong to the record company. Jam & Lewis are workers for hire. Jam & Lewis owning the publishing is irrelevant to the masters. It's Janet's records, not theirs. Just like the stuff Jam & Lewis did for Human League would not go to them. If the masters were given back, they would go to the act, not the writers or producers. For example, Paul McCartney owns the publishing to Buddy Holly songs & some Broadway showtunes and Michael Jackson owns the publishing to songs by many writers and acts including songs Paul wrote for The Beatles and Elvis Presley songs too. But Paul and Mike do not own the master recordings to any of the songs. There are cases where a producer can own the masters, if the act is signed to a production company, and not directly to a label. In a few cases the act owns owns the masters and lease them to labels like Genesis (except the 1969 album) and Motley Crue.
Masters do not automatically go back to the act. They have to put in a request or take the label to court after the time is up. The label can fight the act. It also depends on what kind of contract the act had. Some of Sam Cooke's masters belong to RCA/Sony and the others belong to ABKCO. None belong to Sam's estate.
For 65 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras