Hamlins’ media and entertainment partner quoted in The Times on Prince’s music rights2nd May 2016
After the death of the music icon Prince a week ago, questions started to arise around his music rights estate.
Prince, who many lawyers view as one of the “earliest champions of artist’s rights” had always fought to protect his image but also his music rights against “exploitative record labels and abusive online streamers”. His long legal battle against the record label Warner is one of his significant victories back in 1996.
His 55-year-old sister, Tyka Nelson who is his closest living relative is “set to inherit Prince’s hard won music rights”.
Laurence Gilmore, head of Hamlins’ media and entertainment partner offered legal insight in the Times saying that “the estate – namely, Tyka Nelson – will be bound by the contract Prince signed in 2014.” and adding that “if the terms do not include online streaming, then those rights can be reserved or sold by the estate regardless of his previous wishes – unless Prince left a will specifying that he was only allowing restricted forms of releases. These may include physical downloads and exclude live streaming”. Before concluding that Prince, who never licensed his works for adverts, means that the beneficiary could now grant licences for advertising “toilet paper, or whatever”.
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