FOUR LOVE AND LEGAL LESSONS LEARNED FROM LOVE & HIP HOP NEW YORK SEASON 4

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FOUR LOVE AND LEGAL LESSONS LEARNED FROM LOVE & HIP HOP NEW YORK SEASON 4

FOUR LOVE & LEGAL LESSONS LEARNED FROM LOVE & HIP HOP NEW YORK SEASON 4

 This season of Love & Hip Hop New York played out like the title of cast member, Brian “Saigon” Carenard’s sophomore album, The Greatest Story Ever Told 2: Bread & Circuses.  We saw Saigon try to work on his relationship with Eric Jean, the mother of his son. Then there was the whole love triangle between rapper-turned-manager Peter Gunz, his wife Amina Buddafly, and Tara Wallace, the mother of his two sons. Joe Budden tried to win Tahiry back.  Yandy embraced the challenges of being a single parent, while her fiancé, Mendeecee Harris was in jail awaiting trial on federal drug trafficking charges. Of course, we cannot forget the Rich Dollaz, Erica Mena and Cyn Santana love triangle.

 Despite all of its drama and craziness, Love & Hip Hop New York Season 4, provided some valuable legal lessons.

 LEGAL LESSON #1  – IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS

Siagon Release from Atlantic Records Video Clip

 Many of us may not be familiar with Saigon’s professional background prior to Love & Hip Hop. He played aspiring rapper Turtle in HBO’s hit series Entourage. Siagon also signed a record deal with Atlantic Records in 2004. As is common in the music industry, creative differences arose between Siagon and Atlantic. Siagon explained to Billboard, “It’s not that I didn’t want to put out music, but Atlantic wanted me to do ringtone songs, but they didn’t sign me as a ringtone artist.” He added, “That he was left without much support when, the A&R rep who signed him, Kyambo Hip-Hop Joshua left to join Columbia records three months afterwards.” 

 Saigon hired a lawyer to help him get released from his contract with Atlantic. In 2008, after numerous delayed release dates for his debut album, Saigon was finally let go from his contract.  According to Rolling Stone, “Saigon walked away with 100% ownership of his [unreleased] album The Greatest Story Ever Told.”

 Like Saigon, many emerging artist are eager to land that coveted record label deal and fail to scrutinize the contract terms. Some of Saigon’s contract anguish could have been alleviated if he had negotiated a man main clause into his contract. A main man clause stipulates that when a certain individual leaves the record label the contract terminates.

 Even though, an artist signs a recording agreement the record label does not have an obligation to release the artist’s album. Saigon should have had a clause guaranteeing the release of his debut album incorporated into the contract.  Or at the very least, he should have negotiated a clause that allowed him to go to another label if his album was not released.

 Most record label contracts contain work-for-hire clauses, which states all music recorded by the artist is owned by the record label.  It would have been in Saigon’s interest to request a contract clause that allowed him to regain ownership of all the masters he recorded, if he and the record label parted ways. This way he would have still been able to exploit the masters even though he was no longer signed to Atlantic. Thankfully, his lawyer was able to secure this in his release agreement.

 LEGAL LESSON #2 – ASK BEFORE YOU BORROW

 So Tell me where you from

Uptown baby, Uptown baby

We gets down baby, up for the crown baby

 Who can forget the infectious hook from Peter Gunz and Lord Tariq’s hit single “Déjà Vu.” The song’s track contained an unauthorized sample of Steely Dan’s “Black Cow.”  Steely Dan brought a lawsuit against the rap duo and was awarded a six figure settlement. They also received all of the publishing rights to “Déjà Vu” and 90% royalties for the song. As a result, Love & Hip Hop cast member, Peter Gunz has been unable to financially profit from the song.

 Sampling music is common place in the hip-hop industry.  However, under the law, an artist is required to obtain two types of copyrights prior to sampling a song, a sound recording copyright (typically owned by the record label) and a musical composition copyright (owned by the songwriter or publishing company).  The fees to license a song/sample varies greatly.

 The track to “Déjà Vu” was produced by Brian Kierulf and Joshua Schwartz of KNS Productions.  A producer agreement could have helped Peter Gunz and Lord Tariq to avoid the “Déjà Vu” fiasco.  Producer agreements often have clauses requiring the producer to provide proof that any sample used in a track has been cleared. An indemnification clause allows the artist to recover legal fees and cost from the producer if the artist is sued for use of an uncleared sample.

 Check out this clip from the “Classic Albums” documentary series showing Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen singing along to “Déjà Vu” while discussing the making of Black Cow.

 Donald Fagen singing along to Peter Gunz Deja Vu

LOVE LESSON #1 – LOVE IS NOT A YO-YO

 I could not end this blog post without providing a summary of my Secretary, Yvette’s insights on this season of Love & Hip Hop New York. I give the legal and Yvette provides the real.

 Seeing as how today is Valentine’s Day it’s fitting Yvette chose to provide some love advice

 Yvette first love lesson, “When you love someone, you can’t treat them like a yo-yo and use them only when you are in need and then throw them away, and expect them to still be there.”

 LOVE LESSON # 2 – LOVE IS LIKE A FRAGILE PACKAGE

 Yvette’s second love lesson is, “Love is like a fragile package. You must handle it with care. Your goal is not to break it or hurt it and that is how you should strive to treat the person you love at all times.”

 The J. Paye & Associates team wishes you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Disclaimer: This blog post does not constitute legal advice.  Please consult an entertainment or intellectual property lawyer to discuss your legal needs.

What Can You Learn From Necole Bitchie About Licensing!?! A Lot!

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Necole Bitchie Interview with the Breakfast Club Power 105.1

 

Happy New Year! In 2013, I was a little lax about updating the J. Paye in Brief blog due to the deamnds of being a lawyer.  My goal for this year is to be more consistent in bringing you interesting entertainment and celebrity stories with a legal spin. Let’s get started with the first post of 2014.

It’s a new year and a time when many of us make resolutions.  Maybe, your resolution is to become a successful blogger and entreprenuer. Celebrity Blogger, Necole Bitchie went from being unemployed and sleeping on the couches of friends/family to creating a thriving blog and brand.  It took a lot of hardwork and sacrifice on her part to start realizing her business goals. As Necole says, “It takes time to get that breakthrough.“ 

Necole Bitchie was recently interviewed on Power 105.1′s ”The Breakfast Club.” She talked about some of the legal challenges she had to overcome. In the interview, she candidly talks about receiving cease and desist letters for using an unlicensed photo of Jay-Z and Beyonce on her blog.

In this digital age, there are several misconceptions about downloading and using pictures and video from the Internet.  One common misconception is if an image is on the Internent, it is in the public domain and no permission is required to use the image.  Or if an image can be downloaded from the Internet, it can be used without permission.

The reality is, once a photo or other image is created it is automatically copyrighted. Once an image is copyrighted permission is requried to use it. Copyright law prohibits both accidental and willful copyright infringement.  If you use a picture from the Internet on your blog without permission, you can be liable for damages even if you did not know the picture was copyrighted.

How can you use photos on your blog, website, or online magazine without infringing on someone’s copyright? One option is to hire a professional photographer. Although, you hire a photographer to take headshoots of you or produce imagery for your website, that does not necessarily mean you own the rights to the final images.  Ask the photographer to sign a work-for-hire agreement that stipulates copyright ownership of the final images belong to you.  Or if the photographer already has photos you like ask if they will license them to you on a exclusive or non-exclusive basis.  A entertainment or intellectual property lawyer can help you with these agreements.

There are sites like istockphoto, getty images, and others that offer stock photos that can be licensed or purchased for a fee. As Necole mentioned, in her interview licensing multiple photos can become expensive…especially if your business is in the startup phase and has limited capital.  A cost effective alternative, is to use your camera phone to capture your own photos and videos to use on your blog/website.

Not only does Necole’s life story provide solid advice about legal pitfalls aspiring bloggers should avoid, but on her blog she offers very thoughtful advice about living life vs. just existing.

Here’s to putting in the time and work necessary to get your breakthrough in 2014!

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this post does not constitute legal advice.  Please consult an attorney to discuss your legal needs.

Watch J. Paye speak on the Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Advance Screening Panel

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As a fellow African and lawyer, I was honored to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela by speaking on a panel at an Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom advance screening, which was held on the night of his passing.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Advance Screening on 12/5/2013

J. Paye Love & Hip Hop Atlanta Recap

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J. Paye Love & Hip Hop Atlanta Recap

 

J. Paye Talks All Things Love & Hip Hop Atlanta

By now, you can probably tell that I am a reality TV junkie. When you have a job that requires intense use of your brain cells, mindless television is a welcomed distraction.

It’s been awhile since I talked about Love & Hip. A lot of the blogs and media outlets have commented on how Love & Hip Hop Atlanta is ratchet TV and portrays negative stereotypes of the black community.

I am not going to comment on all that, but the show does depict many different legal issues. Like, when Erica and Scrappy called off their engagement. Did Erica have a legal obligation to give back the ring? Or can Rashida use footage of Kurt cheating, their arguments over finances and Kurt suggesting she have an abortion as proof of irreconcilable differences in a divorce proceeding. And also, what recourse does DJ’s Baby Dre and Traci Steel have against their shoe store business partner, who ran away with their money. These are all interesting questions and may be discussed in another blog post.

What I really want to talk about is the whole Stevie J and Josline fiasco. First off, Josline should have read the talent management and producer agreement before signing it. What really baffles me is why she would let Stevie J hold on to the signed contract without making a copy for herself. I guess these things happen when business and pleasure are mixed.

Josline is not happy with the way Stevie J has been managing her career. She wants out of the contract she signed with him. According to Stevie J, Josline is signed to him for life. (Although he did say once this season that, maybe Josline is signed to him for 6 years).

This is a common issue I see in my law practice. The first step is to see if the manager, producer, record label, etc. will voluntarily release you from the contract. It’s good to get a written release. If this fails, see if one of the contract defenses duress, impossibility, or the contract is unconscionable applies.

In Josline’s situation there are facts to argue that the management contract is unconscionable. Josline had very limited experience in the music industry. Stevie J is a seasoned industry executive. He created hit singles for Mariah Carey, P. Diddy and Eve. He is also older. Josline could argue that Stevie J took advantage of her inexperience. It’s very likely a court would find a contract indenturing Josline to Stevie for life unconscionable. Unless, the lifelong commitment was a marriage. It looks like Josline is really pushing to get married to Stevie.

The last option is to wait out the contract term. Many artists often find themselves in this position, when there has been a breakdown in the relationship with the label or management.

Yvette in Brief

We strive to give two viewpoints in this blog. My administrative assistant, Yvette always has dead on insight and she commented on the last Love & Hip Hop blog post. She feels Kurt is tired of being married and just wants to be a free man. He has been with Rashida since they were 18. Yvette believes, Kurt has been hostile to Rashida in order to get a free pass to cheat, which is something he’s had on his mind for awhile. You noticed he went in the room with not one but two girls. Yvette’s advice is for Rashida to leave Kurt, but realizes its easy for her to say because Kurt is not her husband.

As for Stevie J and Mimi…Yvette said, Stevie was quick to accept the car keys back from Mimi. He did not even offer them back to her probably because it was time for him to return his “rental.” I can’t believe Yvette thinks Stevie gave Mimi a rental car as a gift.

That’s it for all things Love & Hip Hop Atlanta Season 2.

Under California Law Kris Humphries “Presumed Father” of Kim K.’s Baby!?!

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Under California Law Kris Humphries “Presumed Father” of Kim K.’s Baby!?!

“Sometimes Love Comes Around and It Knocks You Down…”

“You should leave your boyfriend now, I’m a ask him,” would be interesting if Kanye West wrote that line in reference to Kris Humphries. 

The whole Kanye, Kim Kardashian, and Kris Humphries love triangle has been getting a lot of attention in the media lately.  Did you know that underCalifornialaw biology does not necessarily determine the paternity of a child?  InCalifornia, there is a rebutable presumption that the woman’s husband is the father of any children born into their marriage. 

 Assuming Kim Kardashian is still legally married to Kris Humphries when she gives birth in June, under Californialaw Kris would be the “presumed father.”  Kim K. can overcome this presumption by presenting “clear and convincing evidence, such a as a DNA test, that Kanye is the biological father of the baby.   For Kim, Kanye, and Kris sake lets hope the terms of the divorce or annulment gets finalized before June. Otherwise, we may hear Kanye rapping these lines from the Keri Hilson song Knocks You Down, “Woe is me. Baby this is tragic.”

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J. Paye Celebrates Black History Month by Profiling Olympian Khadevis Robinson

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J. Paye Celebrates Black History Month by Profiling Olympian Khadevis Robinson

 

Khadevis Robinson – Olympian, 8 Time National Champion & Motivational Speaker

 

Eight times USA National Champion, Olympian athlete, motivational speaker and inspiration, Khadevis Robinson is truly the modern day ‘Renaissance Man.’ Last year,  J. Paye had the opportunity to speak with the 2012 Olympian while he was in the process of moving into his new home. He was gracious enough to answer a few questions and dished out all the details about qualifying for the United States 2012 Olympic track team, life and his inspirations.

In 2008, Robinson qualified for the Olympic Trails however did not make the team because he placed fourth in a qualifying race when he needed to be in the top three. Nonetheless, he did not let what he described as one of the most disappointing moments of his career get him down. He spent the last three years training just as hard, pushing himself to his limit and made the 2012 Olympic team. Although, once he got to London he did not make the semifinals he states, “There are no failures or mistakes. There are only lessons!”

It is his positive out look on life that makes him a phenomenal motivational speaker. He uses defining moments from his life to uplift others. For instance, while in college Robinson’s stepfather pasted away and it devastated his mother. Devastated her to the point that he believed that he needed to drop out of school and abandon a promising track & field career to take care of her. It was a conversation with his biological father, who was an absent figure in his life that aided him in making his decision. His father told him to pray, and after Khadevis prayed his prayers were clearly answered.

It is his spiritual beliefs that give him his positive outlook on life. He stated, “Everything in life has a purpose, every human has purpose.” He believes we all have an Olympian within and should release our inherited skills. Given that he is a motivational speaker he has to keep himself motivated if he wants to motivate others. He does this by constantly reading books, quotes and poems; he listens to and watches the CD’s andDVD’s of Les Brown, Jim Rohn, Zig Zigler and Tony Robbins. He also watches motivational movies and listens to motivational songs.

Every person wants to leave behind a legacy. The legacy Robinson wants to create is that every person he has crossed paths with says that he made a positive impact or influence on their lives. His legacy, which is rooted in his spiritual belief, is “We are all one.” So, if we are all one, when we are helping another person, we are actually also helping ourselves.

For more information on Khadevis Robinson check out http://www.khadevis.com/. Remember that WE ALL HAVE A STORY! Let’s share it with the world.

“Awaken Your Olympian Within.”

Connect with Khadevis on twitter

Khadevis Dreams Motivational Video

 

J. Paye in Brief

As an attorney and entrepreneur each day is filled with unique challenges that I need to resolve.  On the day, that I interviewed KD for the J. Paye in Brief blog I was drafting a complaint for particularly complex client matter.  While on the phone, I listened to KD describe his life story and how he overcame many obstacles in his career as a track & field athlete and Olympian.  His motivational words gave me renewed energy to tackle the client matter.  He is truly a motivating individual.

After each interview for the J. Paye blog, I gain new insight.  During our conversation, Khadevis stated that when he first started building his brand he did not copyright the motivational videos and book he produced and published on his website. Prior to meeting me, many of my entertainment clients fail to copyright their song lyrics, screen plays, graphic designs and other materials.

Copyright registration is permissive. A person can still initiate a copyright infringement suit for original works of authorship (material) they created, but have not registered with the copyright office.  However, copyright law provides certain incentives for individuals to register their work.  An individual who has registered his work can request an award of reasonable attorney fees. Generally, a person involved in litigation can only seek to recover attorney fees if it is provided for by statute or contract.  Additionally, having a copyright registration is prima facie evidence of the validity of the copyright. As I stated in prior blog posts, an individual can apply for copyright registration electronically by visiting copyright.gov and paying a $35 filing fee.

Contact J. Paye & Associates with specific questions you have pertaining to copyright registration or infringement.

 

Judge Vacates $8 million dollar judgment against Belo of Do or Die

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Judge Vacates $8 million dollar judgment against Belo of Do or Die

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Headline: Cook County Judge Vacates $8 million dollar Default Judgment Entered against Famed Rapper Belo Zero of the Legendary Chicago-based Hip Hop Group Do or Die.
CHICAGO, Ill., – On February 20, 2013, Cook County Judge, Eileen Brewer vacated an $8 million default judgment entered against Darnell Smith, p.k.a Belo Zero.  Belo is an American Rap Artist and front man for the Chicago hip-hop group Do or Die. The group achieved mainstream success in 1996, with their debut album Picture This and lead single Po PimpDo or Die has sold over 3 million albums. The group has collaborated with industry heavy hitters like Kanye West, R. Kelly, Twista, No I.D. and The Legendary Traxter.
The $8 million dollar default judgment was obtained in a wrongful death civil suit initiated by the Estate if Raynard Pinkston.  Judge Brewer vacated the judgment on the grounds that it was excessive and obtained without notice to famed rapper.  Belo was represented by Johnetta G. Paye, Esq. of the law firm J. Paye & Associates Attorneys at Law.
Belo is ready to break his 11 year silence and provide a candid account about the details surrounding the shooting death of Raynard Pinkston.  He is also prepared to discuss why he entered into a plea deal with prosecutors and his life since being released from prison in September 2011.  He hopes his story can be a cautionary tale for urban youth, especially, in light of the increased number of violent and deadly shootings being carried out by young teens on Chicago’s West and South sides.
For additional information or to request an interview with Belo contact:
Johnetta G. Paye, Esq.
J. Paye & Associates Attorneys at Law
312-627-0054 office

JPaye & Associates Commercial

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J.Paye Introduces Jadine Joseph

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Jadine Joseph is a 21 year old aspiring lawyer that attends Howard University. This past summer she participated in the 2012 WEEN (Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network) Academy. Through WEEN each young woman received a virtual mentor, Jadine’s mentor is Johnetta Paye, Founder of J. Paye & Associates Law Firm. Jadine is currently the Marketing, Public Relations and Social Media intern for the firm.

 

J. Paye in Brief

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

Throughout my life I have had many mentors who help to shape my legal career.  This summer I had the opportunity to give back and help guide another young lawyer in the making.  I was selected to be one of the virtual mentors for the WEEN Academy.  WEEN is a three week program that WEEN academy is, the first program of its kind, to rigorously groom young women ages 18-22 to be the next entertainment executives and moguls.

My mentee was/is Jadine Joseph a senior at Howard University.  When I first learned Jadine was my mentee I was surprised at how much we had in common.  We are both raised in immigrant homes. Jadine was born in Grenada and emigrated to theUnited Statesat an early age.  I was born in theLiberiaand came to theUnited Statesat the age of three.  Both Jadine and I dreamed of being a lawyer when we were nine years old.

More than our similarities….Jadine’s ambition and drive really impressed me.  The WEEN Academy students first assignment was an evaluation of how quickly they respond to introductory emails from business contacts.  I sent an introductory email to Jadine and within 24 hours I had a lengthy email response back.  Jadine has continued to amaze me with her talents.  Currently, she is the social media, marketing and PR intern for J. Paye & Associates.  This week’s blog post topic was to be a profile of Jadine, the WEEN academy and having me as a mentor.  On Wednesday night Jadine, stated she decided to tell her story in a video that she produced and edited.  I though the video was a true representation of Jadine’s personality…entertaining, youthful and vibrant.  The video also captured Jadine’s love of the fashion, music and entertainment industry.

Throughout the mentorship experience Jadine has surprised me by thinking outside of the assignment guidelines and brining innovated and bold ideas.  Not only, is Jadine a self starter who takes initative, she is also a leader and influencer.  It was no small task for her to organize a small group of her peers to help her produce a video describing her WEEN experience for the J. Paye in Brief blog.  Jadine has a promising future ahead of her.  I am glad that I was given an opportunity to be one of her mentors and help hone the abundance of talent that she possesses.

I usually end my section of the blog post with legal insight.  This is one of the frequently asked questions I get from my film production clients…when can I display a trademark or video in my music video or film.  The answer is when you have a license or permission from the owner of the trademark or logo.  If you do not have permission then do not include the trademark or logo in the shot.   Additionally, when producing a video make sure you license any music contained in the video or use royalty free music.

The insight I would really like to leave readers with this week is the importance of mentoring. Mentoring is a great way to really make an impact in someone else’s life and is a truly rewarding experience. Enrich someone else’s life by becoming a mentor.

Exclusive interview with Ed Neufville as he speaks about his Olympic experience

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Ed Nueville MSNBC

Since July 27th, people around the world have been glued to their television screens watching the London Olympics. J.Paye has had the pleasure of chatting with past Olympian, Edward W. Neufville, III, who ran track for Liberia in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Neufville describes himself as a passionate, persistent, and competent immigration and international law attorney and entrepreneur.

Let’s rewind 16 years and 4 Olympic competitions to the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Then, 19-year-old Neufville was a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) where he ran track. On his collegiate track team were several American and international students who also competed in the Olympics.  In the months leading up to the 1996 Olympic Games, the Liberian Olympic track team assembled in Jefferson, Georgia and began training as a team.  Each day, they would train from nine in the morning to noon then again during the evening hours perfecting their technique, weight training and sprinting. According to Neufville, “I felt very blessed, honored and fortunate to have competed at the Olympic Games for my country, especially at such a young age. It was a feeling of accomplishment and also a feeling of giving back to Liberia. Liberia was in the midst of a civil crisis in 1996. The opportunity to represent Liberia and provide a positive picture of Liberia was very satisfying. It was out of this world!”

In April of 1996, three months prior to the start of the Olympic Games, a civil conflict reignited in Liberia. The team lost complete contact with their Olympic committee and officials. Together, as a unit, they persevered by serving as their own negotiators.  Although they did not make the Olympic finals, the team placed 24th out of 38 teams.

Other than making the Liberian Olympic team, Neufville accomplished much more during his athletic career. From 1991-1995, Neufville won four individual state championships in South Carolina and set the South Carolina high state record in the 400 meters hurdles. His most defining moments as an athlete were when the Liberian national team set records in the 4×100 sprint relays in 1996 Olympics and the 1997 World Championships in Athens, Greece. These were memorable because of the ties and camaraderie that existed between him and his teammates. Another defining moment was running the relay in 1997. Neufville stated that he had a hairline stress fracture in his lower back days leading up to the race and could not walk. However, he persevered because he did not want to disappoint his teammates. The team set a national record that helped to restore the image of Liberia. Another moment he speaks of fondly, was when he placed 3rd in the 55 meters sprint at the Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Championships because he was not expected to make the finals.

In October of 2008, Neufville was inducted into his high school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in Sumter, South Carolina and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Track and Field & Cross-Country Hall of Fame in January of 2007.  Within every profession come highs and lows, Neufville most disappointing moment or moments is how frequently he got injured. As he says, “I ran most of my collegiate years either injured or recovering from an injury.”

Now, let’s fast-forward to today. Neufville expresses that the most memorable moment of the 2012 Olympic games is the opening ceremony or the “Parade of Nations”. He warmheartedly recalls 16 years ago, as a 19 year old, walking into the Atlanta Olympic Stadium as a member of the Liberian Olympic Team. “The feeling you get when your nation is introduced is one of a kind.” Other favorite moments of the 2012 Olympic games thus far is the flawless performance of Gabby Douglas in the all round gymnastics competition and the Men’s’ 10,000 meters race with Great Britain’s Mo Farah and training mate, American Galen Rupp, which was team work at its best.

 

J.Paye in Brief on Endorsement Contracts for Athletes

Negotiating favorable terms into an endorsement or sponsorship contract is about “The Art of the Deal” The more name recognition or fan base an athlete has gives the greater negotiating power.

Many of the Olympic athletes who will be offered endorsement deals are young adults or in their teens. As such, the morals clause is going to be a big negotiating point for these athletes. A morals clause allows the company to terminate the athlete for an act that significantly devalues the endorsement or embarrasses the company. Here, the athlete will want to make sure the contract stipulates what behavior/conduct is prohibited by the endorser. The last thing an athlete would want is to obtain a multi year endorsement deal that is cancelled because he or she engaged in behavior not specifically defined in the contract. All I can say to this is think Michael Phelps and the infamous bong photos. An athlete will want to make sure the morals clause allows them to terminate the contract when the company engages in immoral behavior. An athlete does not want their brand to be associated with a company that has engaged in consumer fraud or some other unethical activity.

The athlete wants to make sure the contract specifically defines the compensation terms. With good legal representation the athlete can negotiate creative compensation structures. For example, maybe the athlete forgoes a large upfront payment and instead opts for stock or ownership rights in the company. Think Rapper 50 Cent and the Vitamin Water deal. This type of compensation structure works well with start-up companies vs. mature establish companies. Another important provision of endorsement contracts it the exclusivity clause. An athlete does not want this clause to be so narrow preventing them from obtaining other endorsements.

Lastly, Athletes want to remember that they are the brand and should take steps to protect their intellectual property. Athletes may want to trademark unique nicknames they are recognized by in their respective sports.