Contracts in the entertainment industry, as you may already know, can be tricky legal documents that could lead to litigation if all parties addressed in the contract are not on the same page. If a breach of contract occurs and the agreement is in writing, then one party can easily prove that the other did not uphold their end of the agreement. But what happens if the agreement is made orally? Are the promises made in this agreement still subject to the same rules?
Imagine that you work for a company that is doing promotions for an event. In several of your advertising videos you use the songs of a famous band. You assume that you and your company are following all of the necessary laws until one day you receive a cease-and-desist letter stating that you infringed on the band’s work. But how could this have happened and what could have been done differently to prevent the possibly difficult litigation that could soon follow?
Most people, from California to the East Coast, know that the music industry relies on a series of contracts and agreements between individuals and companies that not only establish the responsibilities for each party, but determine how people will be paid for their work as well. It's a part of the industry where if any one of its moving pieces isn't working right, it can impact a number of people.
Few people realize how important contractual agreements are until they find that they have been violated. This was certainly the case for two business partners who believe they missed out on thousands, if not millions, of dollars in royalties and advances when their former business partner wrote them out of a publishing company. Now they are fighting back in the form of a lawsuit.