NEW YORK (AP) — An appeals court says a famous Italian film composer can reclaim copyrights to six scores composed three decades ago.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled Wednesday that Ennio Morricone can take back copyrights from Italian publisher Bixio Music Group Limited.

The scores were composed in the late 1970s and 1980s for six Italian films. Morricone assigned his rights to Bixio in return for 3 million Italian lire and limited royalties. The U.S. Copyright Act allows termination of such deals after 35 years.

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The appeals court said a lower-court judge erred by ruling Bixio could retain the rights because they were "works for hire" exempt from the copyright retrieval law.

Morricone has scored over 450 films, including "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" and "The Untouchables."

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