Walter Hurst, 60, attorney and publisher of over two dozen law and reference books covering the arts and entertainment, died Jan. 24 in Los Angeles, of cancer.
Specializing in copyright and trademark law, Hurst authored and published books on legal and business matters in virtually all fields of entertainment, beginning with “The Record Industry Book” in 1963.
His most widely used and controversial publication was the “Film Superlist 1894-1939,” a complete list of U.S. pictures copyrighted during that period, with information on which films had and had not been renewed. That feature proved a boon to people who exploited public domain films and an irritation to studios and producers who had neglected to renew their copyrights.
In addition to “Superlists” for 1940 to 1949 and 1950 to 1959, Hurst wrote “The Movie Industry Book,” “Music/Record Business And Law,” “How To Be A Music Publisher” and “How To Register A Trademark.” He also owned the music publishing company Suite Seven Music Co.
He played an attorney in several episodes of the ABC daytime series “Day In Court” in the early 1960s.
Survived by his mother and sister.