Jan 14, 2021
Casey is an entertainment and
digital media law attorney who helps influencers and creative
entrepreneurs who struggle with navigating the legal side of their
businesses and brands, specifically as it relates to contracts. She
prides herself on helping creatives negotiate fair deals with
Fortune 500 companies and leading entertainment brands, all while
helping them build legally sound businesses that are built for
generational wealth and impact. Here on the podcast, she normally
does that through sharing the stories of successful entrepreneurs
and influencers to help you learn from their mistakes. But
occasionally, like today, switches things up and highlights popular
need good contracts, and a lawyer never hurts! This case is a prime
example of people being taken advantage of for lack of knowledge
and representation. These men should have been reaping the benefits
of their creative work for decades, but they did not have the
proper legal protections in place.
careful with work for hire agreements. As a creative, you always
want to be very clear about the copyright agreements that you sign.
Your number one priority should be to know how your intellectual
property can be used and the rights you give to users.
rarely too late to assert your rights. If you believe that your
rights have been violated, seek legal advice!
[0:54] – Casey
shares a few recaps from the last couple of weeks and some new
resources and content to come.
[7:16] – Casey
talks a little about why understanding Copyright Laws is
[7:16] – A
brief background of the dispute:
is Spinal Tap co-creators Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, Michael
McKean, and Christopher Guest sued Vivendi in 2016. The
headline-making allegation was that despite decades of cult
success, the creatives had just $81 in merchandising income and $98
in musical sales income from their work on the 1984 rockumentary.
They alleged "Hollywood accounting" sins, Vivendi bungling
trademark rights, and more. The four demanded hundreds of millions
in damages plus hoped to reclaim Spinal Tap by exercising
termination rights under the Copyright Act.
Understanding Copyright Termination Rights:
Copyright Act permits authors or their heirs, under certain
circumstances, to terminate the exclusive or nonexclusive grant of
a transfer or license of an author’s copyright in a work or of any
right under a copyright.
provisions are intended to protect authors and their heirs against
- If a
work is made for hire, an employer is considered the author even if
an employee created the work. The employer can be a firm, an
organization, or an individual. The concept of “work made for hire”
can be complicated.
Specifics of the case, now:
creators of This Is Spinal Tap have settled the copyright dispute
with Universal Music Group. According to the settlement, Universal
Music Group will continue to distribute Spinal Tap’s music,
although “eventually the rights will be given to the creators. The
parties look forward to making these beloved recordings available
to existing and new Spinal Tap fans for years to
the deal settles Spinal Tap’s dispute with UMG, the band’s
complaints against StudioCanal and executive Ron Halpern have not
been resolved. That complaint involves a breach of contract, fraud,
and anti-competitive business practices related to the management
of film rights.
[15:40] – Key
- Protect yourself from the beginning! Understand
the contracts you use!
careful with work for hire agreements.
rarely too late to assert your rights.
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