Justin Timberlake's Handlers Didn't Approve This Blog PostThu Jun 05, 2008 @ 01:04PM PST
Posted by Eriq Gardner
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.