Legal Breakdown of why Quincy Turned Down Role on Empire

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Legal Breakdown of why Quincy Turned Down Role on Empire

 

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“The Lucious Lyon I knew would tell those idiots the streets aren’t made for everybody. That’s why they made sidewalks.” -Cookie Lyon

Every Wednesday night,  Cookie Lyon on FOX’s hit show Empire shows us that the entertainment industry is not for the faint of heart and to succeed you have to be tough and constantly on your hustle.  Apparently, hip-hop mogul Diddy has taught his adopted son, Quincy how to maneuver in these streets.

Quincy stopped by Power 105’s The Breakfast Club and spilled the tea on why he turned down the role of Hakeem on “Empire.” Quincy explained to Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy, I pretty much booked the role. Dealing with a show like that, it breaks down theatrically and musically. Theatrically, there were no complaints. They didn’t really let me know that there was a music side that came with a contract. It just took everybody for a loop because we wanted to negotiate and change a couple of things and they were like, ‘nah.’”

According to Page Six, “Diddy kicked up a huge stink and called all the top brass at 20th Century Fox TV to get them to change their rules over music rights. He said there was no way his son was signing over his intellectual property.”

Actors on Empire are required to sign over music rights to the network. FOX benefits from the exploitation of music from the show, since it owns all the publishing and copyrights to the material.  The network has partnered with Columbia Records to distribute music from the show on iTunes and Spotify.

FOX is definitely profiting from the sale of music from the show. “Keep Your Money” performed by Jussie Smollett’s character Jamal, made it to the 99 spot on the Billboard Top 100 Songs for the week of February 28, 2015. With Diddy “It’s All About the Benjamins.” Naturally, he would want his son to participate in the profit sharing of any music that Quincy performed or wrote for the show.

In the entertainment industry it is all about the deals. The fewer people that are required to sign off on a deal the faster a deal can close.  It is common for networks and television producers to insist on retaining ownership of all original music created for a show because it make it easier for them to negotiate distribution contracts for the music.  They do not have to go back to the artist to obtain releases and licenses to exploit the music on iTunes, commercials and other mediums.

Quincy’s other problem was with the 360 clause in the in the actor agreement for Empire.   Under this clause, FOX would have received a percentage of the profits he generated from the sale of all of the music he created, his merchandising, and any endorsement deals he obtained.  The rationale behind a 360 clause is that if it was not for the resources of the network or record label, the artist would not have been able to secure these other deals.

You have to respect a man who tells a major network “I don’t need it. You can keep your money,” because he believes in his own talent and the potential of his music.

 

 In case you are wondering, I am definitely #TeamCookie.  Catch #Empire on @FOXtv on Wednesday nights at 8pm CST.

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.