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Author Topic: Can my publisher (music) sell my IP without my consent?  (Read 1897 times)


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Hi all, hope this is the correct forum  :)

Here is the Q that I have:

I write a few pieces of music, and hand them over to a music production library. I am not paid for the work up front.  The contract states several things, including but not limited to: they are the exclusive publisher for those works in perpetuity, I retain the copyright (this is not a WFH), they may exploit these works in whatever means they see fit, any sync fees they gain will be split between them and me 50/50, any placements they gain which generate performance royalties will be split between them and me 50/50, and so on.

Let's say at some point, the owner of this library decides to sell to another, larger library for a profit.  The entire cat. is now absorbed into the other libraries' cat., which includes my work.  Is the library allowed sell my cw works to another entity  without first seeking my permission (and the permission of the other composers who have work in the library), and without paying me something for my works? Bearing in mind, the contract has no language one way or the other to this effect.

Thank you in advance for any insight.


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Re: Can my publisher (music) sell my IP without my consent?
« Reply #1 on: 02-13-18 at 06:46 am »

You'd really need to take the contract to an IP attorney to have it analyzed.  There isn't a generic answer.  The contract clause about the rights that you are giving them may have certain keywords that would answer this one way or the other, such as whether these "in perpetuity" rights are "transferable" or not, "sublicensable" or not, "assignable" or not, "revocable" (and by whom) or not, and so forth.  If it really doesn't say, then it might descend into a court battle, assuming that you want to spend the money to find out.
"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.


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