Justin Timberlake's Handlers Didn't Approve This Blog Post

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Justin Timberlake's Handlers Didn't Approve This Blog Post

Thu Jun 05, 2008 @ 01:04PM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

Timberlakejustin Justin Timberlake's PR handlers have backed down from demanding that journalists who want to interview the singer/actor at the "Love Guru" junket sign a contract so outrageous that it's gotten Internet hounds in a tizzy.

The plan, similar to one hatched for Tom Cruise a few years back, was for journalists to contractually guarantee that they would submit to Timberlake's handlers any news material resulting from the interview for pre-approval, to destroy anything not approved, to not disclose anything personal about Timberlake. The reporters would be personally liable for any breach.

Timberlake's crew made the classic PR blunder of overreaching its control of their client's image. Besides, though the contract granted that "Copyright in the Material will be retained by Journalist, subject to the restrictions and Artist's approval rights in this Agreement," the reality is that many journalists either work for a media organization or sign a freelance contractthat would raise a number of contractual conflicts, such as Timberlake's demand that "Journalist grants Company and Artist a perpetual, royalty-free license" when journalists typically assign exclusive rights and re-use authority to company that's running their work.

Timberlake's PR people may get blamed for this dumb idea, but obviously some lawyer wrote it. Frankly, we're surprised that any lawyer would sign on for this plan, but evidently, everyone has finally come to their senses.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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