Legal Drama, Music Business

Legal Drama | Kennis Music v. JAWYON BUYOUT Record Contract Dispute

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It has been interesting to watch the ongoing and impending legal drama between Jaywon and Kennis music. Jaywon signed a contract with Kennis Music some years back and apparently he has been unhappy for a little while now. One minute we hear he is leaving. The next minute he denies it because Kennis music, it appears, calls on industry contacts to make sure they do not interfere with the Jaywon and Kennis contract, which essentially ensures Jaywon’s success would be seriously hindered if he leaves. They really do have Jaywon’s back against the wall. Jaywon has finally lawyered up.

This time, Kennis Music obviously threatened that their artist may in fact be leaving them, since he lawyered up, on their own initiative, released a press statement where they tell us he is in fact lawyered up, he in fact wants to leave and he has asked, through his lawyer, to terminate the contract and pay off whatever is owed to the label. Sounds quite reasonable and a show of good faith on Jaywon’s part, doesn’t it?

However, this is a bit tricky.

In a buy out situation, usually the label is paying the artist etc. one lump sum of money and then obtaining all of the intellectual property rights to that music to use indefinitely, for free. What happens if the artist is the one saying, hey, you can buy out all of my music and use it indefinitely. Just let me go?

Certain questions begin coming up, from a different angle. Questions like, how exactly do you value these intangible assets? It is not as straight forward as it may seem and can be quite complex because that entire catalog of Jaywon music may become meaningless in terms of value for the label by virtue of Jaywon walking away.

This case may have to be one where Jaywon files a declaratory judgment through the court system and asks the court to declare that he does not owe Kennis Music anything. This can then put the dispute in front of the court so that ultimately, there is finality and a severance of this relationship. In short, it may be tough to avoid litigation if the parties continue the way they are.

Have a great weekend. I will catch you all soon.

Cheers,
Uduak

“Iledare Oluwajuwonlo James aka Jaywon has written a letter via his lawyer requesting for his contract with Kennis Music to be terminated.

JAYWON wrote, in the same letter, his readiness and willingness to pay off all costs therein accordingly.

Meanwhile, Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria IBAN MEMBERS and all broadcasters on all platforms are hereby advised to Un-list the works (Either single performances or and collaborations) of Iledare Oluwajuwonlo James aka Jaywon from their respective rotational play lists until his (Jaywon) request to buy over his contract is fully completed to avoid litigation.
Thanks.

Signed
Public Affairs Unit

Kennis Communications.

cc. Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON)

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AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law website and podcast show empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

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ABOUT THE FOUNDER

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at https://msuduak.com.

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