“Wages of Spin” (Some Contract Law Issues)

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6 Responses

  1. TJ says:

    It is worthwhile to note, I think, that any sense of unfairness is undermined by the Copyright Act’s provision of an inalienable right to terminating the transfer 35 years after the grant. The rationale for the termination provision is precisely to relieve the perceived unconscionability and duress of an at-the-outset assignment.

  2. Lawrence Cunningham says:


    Thanks! Quite worthwhile.

  3. Jaundiced eye says:

    The recording industry is full of deals in which groups sign away many of their copyright rights in exchange for the recording company’s backing them. The company produces & promotes the artist in return for a share of the artist’s possible success.

    If the artist is already successful when it signs the artist gets a better deal.

    Aren’t these a form of aleatory contract in which the performer trades its rights for a CHANCE at success?

    The Idol contestants don’t get nothing. If they get successful exposure from the show, can’t they capitalize on that success by writing or recording other songs that aren’t covered by the Idol contract?

  4. Nancy says:

    Do you know whether copies of the DVD are available and where I could buy one?

  5. Lawrence Cunningham says:


    The DVD has not been released yet, but you can sign up for it at the producer’s web site, which also contains other information about this film and others:

  6. Billy Vera says:

    As far back as music publishing goes, it was common “consideration” for a publisher to give a dollar for the publisher’s half of the copyright. Further consideration was the publisher’s ability to get artists to record the song. That was their job. People don’t work for free.

    Today, artist/writers often are their own publishers, and consequently don’t get their songs covered by others.

    Al Jolson demanded a writer’s share to record songs, as did Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie and many others. To get a song recorded by Elvis, writer had to give publishing to the Colonel and Elvis…even Leiber & Stoller, who were crafty businessmen themselves.

    You’d have a tough time proving these other issues, as the artist could always say no. This wasn’t a Roulette Records situation, where legs could be broken.