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Thread: The American Idol Contract

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    The American Idol Contract

    This is something that was posted in a newsgroup a while back, and had a feature article written on it by Salon magazine. I had started to mention this in the Clay Aiken thread, but I think it's worthy of it's own thread. It shows exactly how obligated the finalists are to 19 Entertainment - I'm going to post the more interesting parts of the contract.

    I hereby grant to Producer the unconditional right throughout the universe in perpetuity to use, simulate or portray (and to authorize others to do so) or to refrain from using, simulating or portraying, my name, likeness (whether photographic or otherwise), voice, singing voice, personality, personal identification or personal experiences, my life story, biographical data, incidents, situations and events which heretofore occurred or hereafter occur, including without limitation the right to use, or to authorize others to use any of the foregoing in or in connection with the Series

    I understand that, in and in connection with the Series, I may reveal and/or relate, and other parties ... may reveal and/or relate information about me of a personal, private, intimate, surprising, defamatory, disparaging, embarrassing or unfavorable nature, that may be factual and/or fictional.

    Future Agreements: Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Section C, I understand and agree that in the event I am one of the final ten (10) contestants in the Competition, I will be required to enter into the following agreements: (a) an agreement with 19 Recordings Ltd. (or an affiliated company) for my exclusive services as a recording artist; (b) an agreement with 19 Merchandising Ltd. for the use of my name, likeness biography in connection with advertising, endorsement, merchandising and sponsorship; and (c) an agreement with 19 Management Ltd. for the management of my career as an artist. I understand and agree that, unless I am the individual selected as the winner of the Competition, such agreements shall become fully effective only at the election of 19 Recordings Ltd., 19 Merchandising Ltd. and/or 19 Management Ltd.

    Now those are the interesting blurbs to me - the contract is analyzed in much better detail by Salon, and rather than state my conjecture I'll provide it for reference. The article can be found here, and while it details the 2002 American Idol contract, the contract for 2003 is virtually identical:

    http://www.salon.com/ent/feature/200...act/index.html

    And to the person who asked me if this is a lifetime contract - from what I can tell, yes, it is.
    I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a star in somebody else's eyes... but why... why... why can't it be me?

  2. #2
    FORT Newbie Jane's Avatar
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    Verrrrrry interesting "Hazyshadeof" dude or dawg or whoever you are. I clicked on your profile, and see you are a law student. Glad to see you are using your legal research expertise to enrich the minds of us who are hooked on AI2! Reality TV has proved to be a great diversion from my personal reality! Pathetic, but true!

  3. #3
    Don't Worry It's Just Me! falloutbey's Avatar
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    Its like the own they contestants or something.. or maybe i just read it wrong, but that would suck.
    Last edited by falloutbey; 04-03-2003 at 11:20 PM.

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    they pretty much do Joe.
    I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a star in somebody else's eyes... but why... why... why can't it be me?

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    Chihuahua's rule! drkim's Avatar
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    Thanks Hazy for the info - you rock.
    Spay and Neuter your Pets!
    www.chemkim.com

  6. #6
    Jedi Knight Play Doh Rocks's Avatar
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    That may be what the contract says (that they can own them for life) but I assure you - from a legal standpoint, they cannot. They can have do not competes, but that has to be reasonable in time. Forever is not. As a lawyer, if the entire contract reads that way and binds the contestant to the producers forever, then it is null. At best, courts will rewrite the contract in a reasonable manner.

  7. #7
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    It's rather heavy handed of write the contract in that manner imo.

    I can't imagine many of the performers have the contract looked over before they sign it.
    "That's Numberwang!"

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    FORT Regular Denise Atkisson's Avatar
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    From my viewpoint, it would be better to compete, lose out to #1, then go on your merry way. I'm illiterate to wherto's and wherefors or whatever lawyer talk is. OR maybe it means ALL the finalist are bound by that sucky contract! Thats not really fair, is it? Hazyshade, esq., please explain. Like I said I'm clueless...

    Edited due to fog lifting off brain....I re-read it, and actually understood it the 2nd time, and it sure DOES suck. If they want, 19 whatchamacallit , can hold you back indefinately from finding your own producer and agent. Hmmm.
    Last edited by Denise Atkisson; 04-04-2003 at 10:30 PM.

  9. #9
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    All the finalists are bound to the terms IF 19 chooses to bind them to it. Like Jim V. last year, I'm sure they released him from the contract after the promotional tour was over.
    I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a star in somebody else's eyes... but why... why... why can't it be me?

  10. #10
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    I thought Kelly Clarkson's contract was for a year. And the other finalists are only 3-4 months. And after that, they are free to do whatever they want.

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