Friday, September 13, 2013 8:46:04 AM
"...as soon as he was dead they claimed copyright on something he'd written?" The rights holder will be named on the form and is not guaranteed to be the work composer. If it had to be, commissioned work would have an entirely different compensation process, possibly decreasing the value.
Example: In the show "Enterprise," the female Vulcan was supposed to be the same character from TOS who oversaw the mating ritual where Spock fought Kirk (you know the music...) Anyway, if they had presented her as same character, the writer of the TOS episode, who created the character, would have to be compensated for each Enterprise episode she has screen time. Producers said `eff that` and changed her name: T`Pau -> T`Pol.