Welcome to the month of May.
Graduation season is here, and Jeff and I would like to send out big congratulations to law clerks Katherine West, Will Dugoni and Ben Shaw. Enjoy the ceremony, the party and the short break…and then get ready to start studying for the Bar Exam.
A couple notes on this month’s podcast, which can be found below, and my conversation with Rebecca Brian the COO at NextSpace. Our legal discussion had to do with business entities, but we failed to mention the newest form of business entity the Benefit Corporation. Why is this important to note? Well, NextSpace just became a certified B-Corp, which is a Benefit Corporation that meets the B-Corp standards. Benefit Corporations are different from standard Corporations in that they are formed for a purpose that may or may not place the interests of the shareholders first. For more info on Benefit Corporations and B-Corps check out our Benefit Corporation FAQ, and a hearty congrats to NextSpace on becoming a certified B-Corp.
During the conversation we make reference to the movie “The Lost Boys (1986)” which was filmed on-location in Santa Cruz, CA. I couldn’t remember the stand in name used in place on Santa Cruz in the Vampire drama starring “The Coreys” (Feldman and Haim) and Kiefer Sutherland. Of course, Santa Carla is the answer.
For those of you who’ve already listened to the podcast, below is a picture of Rebecca donning the infamous orange NextSpace wig. If you haven’t listened yet, this picture shall serve as a preview of the fun to be heard.
The British are Coming! Yes, the Rolling Stones are on tour in celebration of their 50th anniversary. There has been a lot of talk about the ticket prices for the “50 & Counting….” tour, which have an average price of over $500 for the two Bay Area shows. Many long-time fans are priced out of this go around. Generally, speaking, ticket prices have gone up dramatically in the last decade. There are a number of factors contributing to the rise in ticket prices for concerts, including the “360” Deal.
Traditionally, a record company received income off the sale of master recordings by bands that it had under contract (see, owned). The record company would pocket 80% of the profits from the sale of an album giving 20% to the band or artist. Things like touring, merchandise and publishing were usually not part the recording contract. However, once digital downloads hit the scene income from album sales dropped dramatically. Record companies seeking to find profits where they could, started offering artists and bands “360” deals, meaning the record company got a financial piece of all activities in the entertainment industry.
While it may be the case that the Stones are simply big enough to command $500 ticket prices, the general increase we’ve seen in prices is partly due to the fact that bands and artist now have to share touring income with their record company. If you want to find out more about recording contracts I’ll be speaking on the topic at this year’s California Music Industry Summit, happening the weekend of June 15th and Laney College in Oakland.
Finally, an interesting ruling came down in the 9th Circuit last month involving the Jersey Boys. As part of the hit musical a clip form the old the Ed Sullivan Show was shown in connection with a segment showing the Four Seasons battling the British Invasion of the late 60s (another Stones reference?). The owners of the rights to the Sullivan Show sued the Jersey Boys producer for copyright infringement. The producer countered with a fair use argument based on commentary and criticism (for more on fair use check out this podcast episode). The 9th Circuit ruled that the use was, indeed, fair use as far as the stage play, but warned that the use might infringe should it ever be used in connection with a recorded (TV or Film) version of the Jersey Boys. Interesting, at least for all us copyright lawyers.
Until next month…
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