David Cassidy suing for Partridge Family merchandising
By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.
One of the original teen sensations, David Cassidy, is suing Sony for proceeds from Partridge Family merchandise. Cassidy claims that the show garnered about $500 million in merchandise sales but that he only ever received $5,000.
He claims that his contract, executed more than 40 years ago, called for him to receive a portion of the proceeds from any merchandise bearing his image, and a smaller portion of the proceeds from any other Partridge Family merchandise.
Cassidy’s contract dispute case is based on misappropriation of right of publicity, breach of contract, open book accounting, civil conspiracy, negligent misrepresentation, and constructive fraud.
Sony has responded to the charges by acknowledging that its right to use Cassidy’s name for merchandising expired in the 1970’s, but it says that it is not required to share any proceeds from Partridge Family merchandise. Sony went on to explicitly question whether Cassidy understood the difference between merchandise which uses Cassidy’s name, voice, or likeness and Partridge Family merchandise.
For many entertainers, attempting to secure a fair share of these sort of back-end profits is difficult and complicated. Depending on the situation, studios may prefer to pay out a bit more up front in order to avoid having to share any future profits.
There is not a one-size-fits-all piece of advice to determine when a contract is best for either the studio or the entertainers. It is important though that both parties to this sort of agreement receive experienced and appropriate guidance to help ensure that they make the best agreement possible.
Source: SheKnows Entertainment “David Cassidy suing Sony,” Caroline Goddard, Oct. 05, 2011