The Polar Primates
The band ‘The Polar Primates’ have recently signed a management agreement with Joe Carson and he arranged for the band to do a UK tour. The tour has presented both the band and their manager with a number of problems:
a) Joe booked the Spa Dome for 1st December 2013. Sam, the manager of the Spa Dome, sent Joe an original quotation (ref 234/13) for £100,000. There was a tear-off slip at the bottom, which Joe was asked to sign and return in order to accept the quotation. Joe was not sure how successful the gig in the Spa Dome would be and altered the tear-off slip by hand, to refer to a reduced price of £50,000 plus 50% of the gross takings. He then received a further communication from Sam: “I confirm your booking for 1st December (ref 234/13)”. The concert was hugely successful. The gross takings were £200,000. Sam is now claiming that the total payable is £150,000 (£50,000 + 50% of the gross takings).
b) Another venue, the P3 Arena, had been booked at a price of £200,000. The Arena’s management agreed to provide certain lighting effects, which were included in the price. The band paid a deposit of £100,000. On the day of the concert, Raz, the lead singer of the Polar Primates, contracted severe laryngitis and was admitted to hospital. The band had to cancel their concert. Joe has asked for their deposit back, but the Arena’s management is not only refusing to refund the deposit, but is claiming that the band owes them an additional £100,000. The cost of the special effects was £50,000.
c) One of band’s concerts took place in November at Shipton Town Hall. When Joe enquired in January, he was told that the seating capacity was 10,000. This was correct at the time. In May, however, following a local safety inspection, the permitted capacity was reduced to 7,500. When Joe made the firm booking in June, no mention was made of the change in capacity. In the event fans had to be turned away – the Polar Primates could easily have sold 10,000 tickets, but due to the change in capacity, had to turn more than 250 fans away. Consequently, the band lost out financially and feel entitled to compensation.
Advise Joe and the band about EACH of the above problems.
There are two key musicians behind the Polar Primates’ success – Raz, the lead singer, who generally composes the music and Rash, who writes the lyrics. In the early stages of the band’s career, they recorded a song entitled “Ocean waves” with a small record company. During the rehearsals for the recording, another member of the band, Gryll, introduced a bass riff. The band decided to include that riff in the recorded version of the song and it has remained part of the song. Gryll has now approached Joe, the band’s manager, to assert his rights in relation to the bass riff.
Identify and explain any legal rights arising in the song, commenting on any issues of ownership.
During the band’s recent tour, Joe had arranged for Sound Tunnel, a recording company, to have exclusive recording rights to the live tour performances. Joe has recently become aware of another, poor quality recording which has been uploaded onto the Internet. In addition, it appears that another group have uploaded a ‘spoof’ version of “Ocean waves”, called “Sea smells”.
What legal rights do the members of the Polar Primates have in relation to their live performances?
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