Continued from page 1

“Belolo didn’t write anything. He was just the publisher,” he said, adding he’s confident that means the court will give him 50 percent.

The music publishers’ attorney, Stewart Levy, disagrees, saying he expects Willis will get no more than a third, which he maintains isn’t much more lucrative than the 20 percent he gets these days for “Y.M.C.A.”

“We’re disappointed of course but we don’t think it’s as big a deal as everyone is making it out to be,” he said of Monday’s ruling.

Willis‘ attorney, Brian Caplan said the case is the first addressing the rights of songwriters to terminate agreements they signed decades ago, and as such, lays the legal groundwork for others who seek to reclaim their copyrights.

That could open “a tremendous can of worms” for the music industry, said Mark Volman, coordinator of the Entertainment Industry Studies program and an assistant professor at Belmont University in Tennessee.

“It would be a tremendous win (for songwriters) to get something like that in place,” said Volman, who as a founding member of the 1960s group the Turtles fought his own share of battles over royalty rights signed away.

As for Willis, he’s looking to getting on with his career.

After a series of arrests on drug-related charges in the mid-2000s that resulted in a stint in rehab, he says his life has turned around in recent years.

“Life is fine. I went through whatever I went through, but everything is going great now,” he said.