The Dallas Observer recently quoted Bell Nunnally Senior Associate Brent Turman in the article titled, “Hip-Hop Wars: A Fort Worth Rapper and Producer Fight over Album Rights.” The piece details the feud between hip-hop artist Clay Perry and his producer Deion Gabriel. The two are in a battle over the rights to an album that Perry released without Gabriel’s permission. Gabriel successfully convinced streaming services to remove the album.
Turman commented on situations in which oral agreements may be valid in Texas. Turman added that when multiple people create content without a written agreement in place, they can be deemed “joint authors” under the law. In other words, the two authors are co-owners of the copyright in the work, and “each author has the right to release the material without the other party’s consent,” but must share all profits from the work. He relates this back to his representation of a co-founder of the original e-publisher of the international best-selling book, Fifty Shades of Grey. A jury determined his client was defrauded out of royalties from the novels based on an oral agreement and another co-founder’s conduct, and was ultimately awarded millions of dollars.
To read the full article, please click here.