Elvis Presley Enterprises, the Memphis-based firm that runs worldwide licensing for all things Elvis, has aggressively tracked down individuals they say are behind distribution of bootleg concert performances and albums of the King. And they’re litigating with Elvis’ music publisher.
The Presley folks filed suit in England, Wales, and Florida over the alleged infringement, resulting, in England, with the Chancery Division of the High Court authorizing a search of defendant”s home; that reportedly produced materials for a subsequent lawsuit. The Chancery Division also granted summary judgment in favor of the Presley people, resulting in damage awards and attorneys fees after a DJ released a remix album featuring Elvis Christmas classics. For more, visit Law.com’s Corporate Counsel or click here.
The Presley folks have been active on another legal front, filing a claim with the New York Supreme Court against publishers Chrysalis Music Group, alleging failure to perform contractual duties.
In April, 2002, they and Chrysalis entered into an agreement under which Chrysalis was to license Presley’s musical compositions in the United States and abroad; administer the rights; collect licensing transaction fees; and put the revenue into a seperate account. Chrysalis handled 75% of Elvis’ musical compositions, the suit says, claiming that the firm has failed to fully pay collected licensing and publishing revenue. The suit asserts thate Chyrsalis inadequetly collected the fees, and, in some cases, comingled the revenue. Chrysalis has “suffered from an astonishing lack of controls and related failures,” the suit asserts.
It also claims that Chyrsalis failed to use due diligence and care in promoting the songs, leading to a loss of revenue, and it alleges the firm failed to take adequate precautions to ensure the truth of royalty statements in the licensing agreements; $5 million in damages is sought.
The dispute has run for some time and at least one account carries a statement from the defendants, expressing surprise over the suit.