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O’sullivan V. Management Agency And Music Notes

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FACTS Raymond O'Sullivan (professionally known as Gilbert O'Sullivan) to whom I shall refer as "O'Sullivan" is a well-known composer and performer of popular music. Agreements with the defendant companies: In 1969 he approached the third defendant to whom I shall refer as "Mills," known internationally as a manager, producer and performer, who managed amongst others Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. On 25 February 1970, O'Sullivan signed a management agreement with Mills, and a sole agency agreement with the first defendant. Mills acted as his producer without any additional charge save for the 20 per cent. on all earnings to which he was entitled under the management agreement. On 5 October 1970 O'Sullivan signed a recording agreement with the fifth defendant, which was issuing its first label which was attended by very wide publicity. O'Sullivan was one of the artistes to benefit from that publicity. He had total confidence in Mills and trusted him implicitly. By this time O'Sullivan was unhappy with his contractual arrangements. He was disillusioned with Mills and did not trust Smith. He was horrified to discover that he was spending more and earning less than he used to. He consulted solicitors who eventually on 15 May 1979 wrote alleging that all the agreements referred to above were illegal, and these proceedings were commenced. Sullivan's demand for joint publishing company, never acceded to: Right from the outset O'Sullivan had wanted what he called a "joint publishing company." This is an arrangement whereby a company is set up in which the composer and the publisher each has a 50 per cent. interest. All the composer's copyrights are assigned to the company which pays the composer a royalty. O'Sullivan thought that he had been offered such an arrangement by April Music Ltd., but in fact the agreement which he had provided for the retention of the copyrights by the composer, or a company formed by him for the purpose, with a licence to the publisher to reproduce the works for a period of five years on payment of a 50 per cent. royalty, after deduction of 15 per cent. expenses. O'Sullivan showed the April Music Ltd. agreement to Mills who said his company would do the same. Thereafter O'Sullivan raised the question of the joint publishing company on numerous occasions both with Mills and Smith, but it was never achieved although he was told he would get it. Order by the lower court: On 5 May 1982 after a long hearing the judge gave a short judgment stating his conclusions, and gave his reasons in a full judgment on 22 July. He made declarations that all the agreements referred to in this judgment, except the service

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