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Life story rights agreement: some central considerations

When you go to a library or book store, start browsing online, visit a movie theater or otherwise pursue entertainment options, are you attracted to stories about famous people?

If so, you're hardly alone. The biographies of well-known people -- ranging from world leaders, movie stars, musicians and business tycoons to philanthropists, comedians, deep thinkers, sports figures and more -- are always in high demand among the general public.

And that obviously makes them valuable in a broad-based way. To you, as a reader or viewer who is legitimately interested in the life story of a well-known figure. To the individual or artistic team that brought that story to life. And, obviously, to the major actor in any biographical rendering, namely, the person who is the focal point of the tale.

At the Law Offices of Barry K. Rothman, a longstanding Los Angeles entertainment and business law firm, we firmly grasp all the important dimensions relating to a prominent individual's life tale. Most notably, and as we note on our website's Life Story Rights Agreements page, that story "may be a highly marketable asset" for a well-known figure.

Thus, it needs to be protected. Imagine, for example, a highly respected public figure who fails to safeguard his or her legacy and integrity by allowing a spurious hack writer with an agenda to ink a biography.

What about a case where a notable figure simply fares poorly in negotiations relating to royalties and other future compensation tied to a life story?

There are many things to think about for any person who is contemplating the public release of a personal story. What might the market value be? What can be done if pre-release material is objected to? What rights are guaranteed if a spin-off product is envisioned?

As our website notes, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Barry K. Rothman represent "numerous prominent entertainment industry clients," working hard to safeguard and fully promote their legal rights.

We welcome client inquiries.

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