Friday, April 4, 2008
This blog has seen its share of radio hosts with contract issues. Now, consider the predicament of liberal talk show host Randi Rhodes, who has a show on Air America. At a recent (off air) appearance on behalf of Air America, the radio host called Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro "f**n whores." (Coincidently, Rhodes comment about Clinton uses contract as a metaphor: "Hillary is a big f**ing whore, too" ... "You know why she's a big f**ing whore? Because her deal is always, 'Read the fine print, a**hole!').
Without providing much explanation, Air America has temporarily suspended Rhodes' show from the air waves. Rhodes told the Huffington Post: "They are in breach of my contract and have damaged my hard won excellent reputation in the broadcast industry..."
[Meredith R. Miller]
No doubt influenced by yesterday's post on this blog about the ailing music industry, the New York Times today reports on what it calls "the ailing music industry," which has now teamed up with MySpace to start a new music site. MySpace Music will now be a joint venture with Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. According to the Times, "The music companies are expected to make their entire digital music catalogs available for listening and downloading on the new site, which will be introduced later this year."
Once again picking up on a theme articulated in yesterday's blog post, the Times notes that "the industry is seeking revenue that does not come directly from its customers, like the ad-supported element of the MySpace service." In other words, the ailing music industry is trying to make money through means other than music.
The article also reports that Apple, through its iTunes Store, has surpassed Wal-Mart as the nation's leading music retailer, which explains why Wal-Mart is pressuring the record labels to lower the prices of CDs.
By the way, don't be fooled by my Google Doppelgänger; I don't have a dog in the FaceBook/MySpace fight.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
As this blog has previously reported, the music industry is being forced to move away from its reliance on a revenue stream coming from the sale of
records LPs CDs well, let's just say the music industry is moving away from reliance on a revenue stream coming from the sale of music. What then will the future of the industry look like? (Look to the left for a sneak peek.)
Today's New York Times reports that Rapper "Jay-Z plans to depart his longtime record label, Def Jam, for a roughly $150 million package with the concert giant Live Nation that includes financing for his own entertainment venture, in addition to recordings and tours for the next decade."
The Times provides the following details of the arrangement:
The overall package for Jay-Z also includes an upfront payment of $25 million, a general advance of $25 million that includes fees for his current tour, and advance payment of $10 million an album for a minimum of three albums during the deal’s 10-year term, these people said. A series of other payments adding up to about $20 million is included in exchange for certain publishing, licensing and other rights.
Given his earlier forays into clothing and nighclubs, Jay-Z is just the man to move the music industry beyond music. But Live Nation also includes in its stable other pioneers of the music industry, such as Madonna and U-2, who recognized long ago that a multi-faceted resume is what separates them from, say, the Bay City Rollers.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
The New York Times recently reported that one benefit of blogging is the inevitable book deal that follows. So, it was just a matter of time before this blog's Jeremy Telman (pictured) exploited the publicity for his verse generated in this forum to sign a book contract for his Limericks for Lawyers project. Although Telman would not disclose details, he described his advance as "in line with my talent and status."
Regnery Press was apparently drawn to Telman's work due to his dutiful reporting on developments at the Press. Asked how Telman's book would fit in with the Press's reputation as a publisher of right-wing diatribes, Regnery's spokesperson explained, "He writes metrical verse; he must be conservative."
The Law Professors Blog Network (LPBN) is suing bloggers Franklin G. Snyder (left, top) and Keith A. Rowley (left, bottom) for breach of contract in connection with their blogging activities on the Commercial Law blog, allegedly in breach of contractual provisions committing both contracts professors to devote "their full time and skill exclusively to the ContractsProfs Blog." According to the complaint, although Snyder and Rowley are listed as Blog Editor and Contributing Editor respectively of the ContractsProfs Blog, they have joined "a ragtag crew of renegades seeking to undermine the LPBN's dominance in law prof blogging, promote communism and end civilization as we know it." Rowley is listed as a "Contributor" on the Commercial Law Blog; Snyder is listed as a "Guest."
Reached for comment at his vacation home on a private island, Professor Rowley argued that his agreement with LPBN came in the form of a click-wrap contract, the terms of which he never read. "Who does?" he queried.
Snyder, reached at his new offices in Texarkana, responded to the lawsuit as follows, "Look, just because I'm a guest, doesn't mean I'm a welcome one. Besides, -- STRIKE?!? HOW CAN YOU CALL THAT A STRIKE?!? IT WAS THREE FEET OVER HIS HEAD!"
Monday, March 31, 2008
The Metropolitan News-Enterprise is fast becoming one of my favorite sources of contract law news. Last week, the News-Enterprise supplied the basis for a post about chutzpah. Today, the News- Enterprise reports on a fascinating case involving a missing cadaver.
In March 1996, Isol Cartheuser entered into an agreement with the University of California, Irvine (UCI) to donate her body to UCI's College of Medicine after her death. Ms. Cartheuser died later that year. Two years later, Ms. Cartheuser's grandson and adopted son, Butch Vanderpool, and his wife contacted UCI to learn when it would return Ms. Cartheuser's remains. They received no reply, and months later they learned of news stories about UCI's failure to keep track of donated bodies and unauthorized sales of body parts.
UCI eventually confirmed receipt of the body but explained that it had no information regarding the disposing of the cremated ashes. The Vanderpools and four other families then sued UCI alleging breach of contract and other causes of action. The breach of contract claim was apparently based on the Vanderpools' assertion that Ms. Cartheuser had agreed to donate her body on condition that her remains be returned to her family after UCI was done with it. California's Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected the Vanderpools' claim, finding that there was no such unambiguous promise, nor was it clear to whom the body was to be returned if there was such a promise.
Vanderpool v. Regents of the University of California can be found here (decided March 28th).