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Rebecca Black -- Battle Over "Friday" Begins!

4/2/2011 10:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

It was only a matter of time before a dog fight over the Rebecca Black phenomenon erupted -- Black and her mother are now accusing the company that produced the track of copyright infringement as well as using Black's image without permission.

0402_rebecca_black_REG2

Black and her mother, Georgina Marquez Kelly, fired off a letter to Ark Music Factory claiming they hadn't turned over the masters of her recording, and were using her image all over the Internet without permission. The pair is also pissed that Ark allegedly claimed she was an exclusive artist of theirs ... this according to Rolling Stone.

The founder of Ark told the mag they plan on turning over the masters and are aware she's not an exclusive artist. But a lawyer for the company told RS, "The agreement was not court-approved ... They say they own the composition. Nothing could be further from the truth. If they go forward and license it or attempt to copyright it in their name, that would be copyright infringement and we'd act accordingly under the circumstances."

Who knew a crappy little song could cause so many problems?


60 COMMENTS

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31.

Gerri    

Is it me or do the people with the least amount of talent get talked about the most? :)

1245 days ago
32.

Bubbles The Chimp    

Looking at Ark's business practice, parents should really read contracts before signing rights over to these people and thinking their child is going to make loads of money. Ark tricks the unknowing with the assumption that owning a master recording is above all when in reality all the money is made through the publishing right which the owned by Ark. It is a Lou Pearlman/N'SYNC scheme relationship.

1245 days ago
33.

TheMarshmallowMan    

Typical America, making somethings out of nothings

1245 days ago
34.

MrsBeasley    

Typical case of LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME, then they change their minds. What rubbish...both the girl and the video. You wanted it honey, live with it.

1245 days ago
35.

CriticAl    

The minute the media grabbed hold of this and she got on Leno, I knew the fight over money was on.

1245 days ago
36.

Mike    

Bubbles,

While I agree with you on ownership, I should point out the "work-for-hire" contracts generally involve doing original work for someone and getting paid for it while the other party retains all rights to the material. In this case, it's pretty much the opposite. She paid THEM for the opportunity to create
the material. She probably can't claim ownership but it certainly wasn't a WFH contract.

That is...unless you're implying that ARK signed a WFH contract for HER meaning they got paid for their work and she retains all the rights.

I don't believe that's the case here though as I don't see a professional company like ARK signing one.

1245 days ago
37.

Mike    

"The kid paid to have her song recorded so let her have it "Yeah!"

Mija,

It's not HER song from what I understand. She simply chose the song from a small selection ARK offered her and recorded it.
It's not much different from doing karaoke to someone else's song or going to one of those studios at Six Flags where they let you record your own version from a preset collection of songs for which you provide only the vocals.

Depending on her contract, she might own the rights to the video itself or she may have partial ownership but unless they sold her the song rights along with the video, it's not hers.
She paid to have a video produced with a song she didn't write or own. Originally, I thought she HAD written it and was giving her some slack because it SOUNDED like it had been written by a 13-year old girl. However, that doesn't appear to be the case and I now feel justified and comfortable with saying the song is terrible because it was actually written by an adult.

However, they can't use her image to sell the song and/or video without her permission unless she was stupid enough to sign that away in her contract. Somehow, I doubt that.

1245 days ago
38.

nevernude    

These disgusting "fame whore" type of parents should be permanently sterilized. And investigated by CPS. Sickening. Let your freaking KIDS BE KIDS. Stop trying to pimp them out to fatten your bank account.

1245 days ago
39.

guylene    

Her voice is so annoying! She sings worse than me, and that is BAD.

1245 days ago
40.

Bruno    

No contract is "court approved". You make a contract, hopefully drafted by lawyers, then if there is a dispute the court decides how to rule based on the contract, or if the contract is contrary to the law, they rule based on the law. Something tells me ARK is not the most professional organization and probably doesn't have all the contracts and do***entation they really need.

Posted at 12:24 PM on Apr 2, 2011 by Carl
-----------------------------------------------------------

Not sure where Ark Music Factory is located. But in California, contracts involving minors working need to be court approved to make sure the parent/manager isn't screwing the kid over.

But bottom line, the song sucks and so does the kid's voice. I'm sure the parents want the master so they can burn it.

1245 days ago
41.

Bubbles The Chimp    

#39 Mike: Yes. After looking at Ark's business practice after posting the first WFH statement, you are right. It was not. This is a clear case of the parent not reading/understanding what they signed in the contract. Ark clearly states the person under contract only "owns the master recording" which in the music business, matters little. They totally got screwed with Ark owning the '$$$-making publishing rights'. The girl and her mother really should have had a music entertainment lawyer view the contract before signing.

1245 days ago
42.

Kelly    

I hate this song!!!
The lyrics are stupid, her voice is Flat and she sings through her nose!
Doesn't she realize that all the hits on YouTube are just out of curiosity and 99% of those views are negative????
Just go back to Jr.High were you belong!

1245 days ago
43.

Deb    

Agree with 47! ^^^^^^

1245 days ago
44.

tgrfan42069    

dont blame her or her mother..rather people like the song or not is irrelevant.they paid for it and ark is trying to use her blowing up as a house hold name to market their own with.

1245 days ago
45.

Puckett    

"No contract is "court approved". You make a contract, hopefully drafted by lawyers, then if there is a dispute the court decides how to rule based on the contract, or if the contract is contrary to the law, they rule based on the law. Something tells me ARK is not the most professional organization and probably doesn't have all the contracts and do***entation they really need.

Posted at 12:24 PM on Apr 2, 2011 by Carl
-----------------------------------------------------------

Not sure where Ark Music Factory is located. But in California, contracts involving minors working need to be court approved to make sure the parent/manager isn't screwing the kid over.

But bottom line, the song sucks and so does the kid's voice. I'm sure the parents want the master so they can burn it.

Posted at 5:05 PM on Apr 2, 2011 by Bruno"

---

ARK is located in Los Angeles California and you are correct. In CA child labor entertainment contracts go before a judge for independent review and must be approved by the court before they are legally binding. Whether ARK contracts fall into that category i'm not sure...

---

From wikipedia...

The California Child Actor's Bill (also known as Coogan Act or Coogan Bill) is a law applicable to child performers, designed to safeguard a portion of their earnings for when they enter adulthood.
The original Bill was passed in 1939 by the State of California in response to the plight of Jackie Coogan, who earned millions of dollars as a beloved child actor only to discover, upon reaching adulthood, that his parents had spent almost all of his money. Since then, it has been revised a few times, most recently on January 1, 2004. [1]
"California's current law that regulates minors' entertainment contracts is codified in sections 6750-53 of the Family Code and section 1700.37 of the Labor Code. Even though the current law is based on the previous law, there are some differences. For example, the current law extends the scope of minors' entertainment contracts that the superior court can approve to include contracts pursuant to which a minor renders services as an 'actor, actress, dancer, musician, comedian, singer, or other performer or entertainer, or as a writer, director, producer, production executive, choreographer, composer, conductor, or designer.' Further, the superior court may approve contracts that involve the transfer of intellectual property." (Thom Hardin, "THE REGULATION OF MINORS' ENTERTAINMENT CONTRACTS: EFFECTIVE CALIFORNIA LAW OR HOLLYWOOD GRANDEUR?"1998 La Verne Law Review, Inc.)
The law requires the child's employer to set aside a portion of the child's earnings in a trust savings account.
This bill has been further updated stating that 100% of the money earned by the child actor is solely theirs, and unauthorized use by the parents is considered, by law, stealing.
For information regarding how to file a Petition to Approve a Minor's Contract, a Petition for an Early Release of Coogan Funds, or an Application to Terminate a Minor's Coogan Account pursuant to California Family Code § 6750 et seq. or California Labor Code § 1700.37. [2] Barbara Rice, Research Attorney at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, is trying to locate former child actors and recording artists who have unclaimed bonds at the court that were deposited pursuant to the Coogan Law.

1245 days ago
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