fbpx

A Partial Solution for Prince’s Estate

PrinceThe first major deal for the late rock star Prince’s music has been inked, and the musician’s songwriting rights are going to the Universal Music Publishing Group for an undisclosed sum, according to the company and the Prince estate.

The agreement gives Universal long-term administration rights for Prince’s hits and raises the possibility that the songs—which Prince kept from many online services—could become more widely available. The CEO of Universal Music Publishing said the company will work closely with the estate on the catalog of about 1,000 Prince songs to provide access to these songs for his fans.

Prince’s estate retains ownership of the songs, and the agreement doesn’t cover Prince’s recorded music rights. Those songs’ rights are still the subject of their own aggressive bidding war. The rights to the rock star’s publishing catalog, which includes lyrics, chords, and melodies of the songs, are extremely valuable. Prince kept close control over this, and in 2014 he regained total control of his publishing. It’s an unusual arrangement, as most songwriters assign their songwriting copyrights to their publishers. Prince also used his publishing rights to limit where his music could be heard online, refusing to let his music be played on YouTube. In 2015, he took all of his music from all streaming services except Tidal.

Prince died intestate—without a will—and with no directions for the management of his music, which is valued as high as $300 million. The estate appointed two seasoned music executives in June, L. Londell McMillan and Charles Koppelman, to manage his music catalogs and do new deals for his songs, which some say were under-exploited.  Even if you are not all that fascinated by what might happen with Prince's estate, the moral of this story is that the family was left out completely of the management of his estate, a least this portion of it. That's what can happen if you leave to chance by not creating your own plan.

In a statement, McMillan and Koppelman said, “With this major agreement, the estate maintains ownership of Prince’s music, and now legions of fans from around the world will have even greater opportunities to continue to delight in his incomparable songwriting and musical expression.”

Reference: The New York Times (November 2, 2016) “Universal’s Deal for Prince’s Song Rights May Bring a Wider Audience”

 

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

LIKE THIS POST?

We have a LOT more where that came from!

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now https://jsfiddle.net/7h5246b8/

Request a free consultation

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.