Who doesn’t want to make more money? As you may have deduced by reading this blog, the main aspect of intellectual property I find most fascinating is the inability to never completely consume a creative work. Unlike real estate, land, or natural resources – intellectual property can forever be divided, sub-divided and can never be exhausted. It can never be used up. Of course, the basis of my statement is on the assumption that there is still a market for whatever creative property you own.
The world was once again reminded of the enduring legacy when news broke this week of Elvis Presley’s intellectual property licensing rights being sold to Authentic Brands Group. According to the ARTICLE with the Associated Press, 36 years after his death Elvis Presley Enterprises brought in $32 Million in revenues from licensing intellectual property in 2012.
As I explained in last week’s post Magic Wands of Copyright there are six rights associated with every copyright. Each of those rights can be sold, licensed or given away without it affecting the remaining rights. That is six exclusive rights with Every. Single. Piece. Of. Intellectual. Property. Meaning there are six exclusive rights for every Elvis photograph, every Elvis album cover, every Elvis recorded song, every Elvis television special, every copyrighted photograph of the King that is then put on a coffee mug thus creating a new creative work subject to copyright protection. The list goes on and on and on. And, unlike land, oil, natural gas or silver, it can never be completely depleted.
In case you still have any doubt of the value of intellectual property, the International Intellectual Property Alliance’s report indicated copyright industries, like music, film and books, contributed $1 Trillion to the U.S. GDP! Not too shabby. You can read the full report from the International Intellectual Property Alliance by going HERE.
The article pointed out that Lisa Marie Presley will still continue to own Graceland and the items within it. The decision to keep ownership and simply license to another group who has the goal of making the materials profitable is a wise move by Lisa Marie. If she was to outright sell the intellectual property rights, then that would be a one-time payment. By licensing the material, she will forever have what I like to call “mailbox money.”
Authentic Brands Group is in the business of licensing. As the Authentic Brands Group website points out they are “always looking for new developments and exciting opportunities for growth.” The deal that has been reported indicates that Authentic Brands Group will have an incentive to make Elvis intellectual property profitable because it will help grow their business. Lisa Marie continues to experience revenue, retain ownership and everyone wins. By not outright selling her interest, she guarantees a source of income for many years to come. At this time, the price Authentic Brands Group paid for the Elvis intellectual property rights and other relevant contract terms associated with the rights is unknown.
To read more about the value of intellectual property in the entertainment field, check out my other two posts More Than a Shaker of Salt and Imagine John Lennon Endorsing a Business. By retaining ownership, developing a business model that works and partnering with the right people, you too can find ways to monetize your intellectual property – becoming the King of your own destiny. Stay Tuned In!
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- Elvis Presley’s intellectual property rights sold (bigstory.ap.org)
- Elvis Presley’s Intellectual Property Rights Sold (abcnews.go.com)