Nicholas Weston Lawyers client, promoter Abstract Entertainment, is currently touring tribute act ELVIS TO THE MAX starring the world’s first and most-successful Elvis impersonator Max Pellicano. Max recreates the looks, moves, vocal style, and humour so accurately you would swear “The King” himself is in the building. Shot some video with a BlackBerry at Crown Palms, Melbourne, Australia on 16 August 2014 – VIDEO HERE.
The firm acts for a number of media and entertainment companies and has significant experience in talent contracts, commercial deals, licensing arrangements, copyright issues, trade marks and litigation. We even advise on responsible use of social media, typically in the context of minors (kids), defamation or market disclosure issues. Tribute acts are a familiar niche of ‘the biz’ to us (I’ve always wanted to say ‘the biz’. Tick).
Some years ago we obtained an injunction in the Supreme Court of New South Wales over an Australian Queen tribute act that was touring in South Africa. The orders preserved the profits of the South Africa tour and established a monitoring mechanism over performances and profits of two Queen tribute acts. The parties to the action were at odds over whether some tribute acts were assets of a trust.
Our client alleged that there was a trust that operated a business comprising two Queen tribute acts. The No. 1 band, Queen It’s a Kinda Magic, toured internationally. The No 2 band did club-land in Australia and New Zealand. The other side alleged that the intellectual property of the Queen Its A Kinda Magic tribute act was not transferred to the trust. The joint venture ended, but the trust had not been wound up. The action was commenced by the other side, represented by a large firm, who unsuccessfully sought to wind up the corporate trustee of the trust. Our Cross-Claim sought remedies based on contract, the “oppression” provisions of the Corporations Act, the fiduciary duties of joint venturers, the fiduciary and statutory duties of company directors to their company, liability for knowing assistance in a breach of fiduciary duty, and unconscionable conduct under trade practices legislation. It sought declaratory relief on a number of issues including the goodwill and ownership of the two Queen tribute acts.
The other side was required to pay tour proceeds of the “Queen Its a Kinda Magic” tribute act into an Australian bank account jointly controlled by the parties solicitors and to provide a sworn accounts with source documents detailing expenses. Ultimately, we were able to resolve the matter in a Mediation by suggesting, when it appeared the Mediation would fail, that the parties do an ‘earn out’ tour together so that one side could pay the other out. The earn-out tour was so successful the parties continue to work together to this day and they are great mates not only with each other but me too. Go figure. Anyway, checkout this piece that appeared in the Australian Financial Review at the time: King Rings a Bell but Never Heard of Queen – AFR 20080620.
- 1 Sep, 2014
- Posted by Nicholas Weston
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