by Jean Perwin | March 24, 2008
You asked your legal, copyright, and trademark questions, and Jean has answered! All questions are culled from the comments section attached to the original ‘Ask Jean’ post. We invite you to ask more questions.
Hope all is well with you. I am in the music entertainment business and recently one of the companies I do business is selling out to another music company. I licensed many songs to them as well as they administrate my publishing. I was not contacted about them selling out to the other company, which I think they should have done as a sign of courtesy. I called to speak with them, put keep getting the run around (not in office, sick, in a meeting, on holiday……).What are some of the questions you think I can ask them concerning them selling out and transferring all my catalogue and publishing to the other company (my publishing contract would expire in 2010). What are my rights and what might I be entitled to from the company? Hope you can answer my questions. Thanks in advance.
It sounds like your best bet is to talk to the acquiring company to find out how they will handle the transfer of your agreements. Generally, in a merger or acquisition, the buying company takes over all the assets of the bought company including the licenses for your songs and your publishing agreement. They are legally bound by the same terms you had with your old company. The only way that may not be true is if your agreement with the old company did not allow them to assign the agreements. But, that’s very unlikely. To know what your rights are, you have to look at your agreements or have an attorney review them for you.
Jean Perwin is a Miami based attorney who specializes in Intellectual Property Law, Entertainment, and General Corporate Law.