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Tonight I'm Going to Rock You, Tonight!

Spinal Tap have been in the news today in relation to a lawsuit against their record label.

It makes the news because it's Spinal Tap, and therefore, by all scientific and objective definitions, hilarious.

However, the story behind this is the same old, same old. In film-making, its called 'Hollywood Accounting' - the practice of shuffling the actual money coming in from sales of a a product, from one pile to another, all marked 'Absolutely, totally legitimate expenses, you guys. Geez', until the pile marked 'profit for the artist' is negligible or non-existent. Eeeexcellent, as the Harry-Shearer voiced Mr Burns would say.

It's a practice that's been going on for years, and I'll let this guy explain it more if you're interested. Warner Bros., not Universal, but grey pinstriped corporate accountants do tend to blur into an indistinguishable mass after a while.

This has very little to do with IP (patents, Trademarks, Copyright) in a direct sense. However, I deal with a number of smaller firms and solo inventors, who have an end goal of licensing their IP in order to produce revenue. Many of the potential pitfalls mentioned in the article are similar: manipulation of accounting data, ignoring contractually obligated accounting and reporting processes, and so on.

The biggest question on the minds of a licensor will often be 'how much?', or 'what percentage?' or similar. They may also be considering how often they'll get paid, in what form, and so on. But these other secondary issues also need to be considered carefully: how often do you want the licensee to report to you? What safeguards or processes are in place to let you audit the process? And so on.

Get in touch if this is the sort of service that you require, or if you need assistance with this type of work.

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