Artist Estates and Legacy
Our firm has particularly well-developed experience with disputes involving the estates of recording artists, composers, and entertainers, including the wide range of issues that frequently arise in this context, including name and likeness claims; royalty disputes; copyright issues; contractual disputes; and the wide range of related issues that an estate may face.
These sorts of matters often raise complex issues of, and interplay among, federal copyright, trademark and intellectual property law, and state law governing inheritances and other estate matters. To achieve the most effective results, we work closely with the estate’s counsel, financial and tax advisors and other representatives to analyze, address and resolve disputes of this nature, whether through litigation or aggressive negotiation.
Our experience in this area includes representing artist estates in:
- Disputes regarding the accounting and payment of royalties generated by copyrights, recordings, compositions and other intellectual property now controlled by the estate
- Claims involving the misappropriation of a deceased artist’s name, likeness or image
- Disputes between personal managers and the estates of deceased artists concerning entitlements to past and/or future commissions
- Disputes involving the ownership of estate assets, including copyrights and other intellectual property, and the appropriate allocation of the revenues generated from those assets to the estate and to heirs who may have competing claims and interests