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Added: September 13th, 2012 in Questions
Hello Sean. The content of your letter that I have addressed is in blue below. My comments are in red. Thanks for your good will.
On Sep 11, 2012, at 6:34 PM, Sean wrote:
Hello Gail Zappa,
I’m writing about the recent victory over Ryko/Warner Bros.
I have read in an interview from 1995 that the sale of the masters to Ryko was arranged prior to FZ’s death for an undisclosed amount. True.
At the time the estimate was 40 million. Speculation.
This was only for the masters and the license to distribute them. True.
All copyrights remained with you, as well as all publishing rights. Not True. It was a Sale of the Masters but nothing to do with the publishing.
It was always Frank Zappa’s intention that the digital distribution rights remained with the family. True.
This sale was finalized in 1994. Signed in 1994. True.
In 1997 Ryko began working with outside parties to increase the size and value of their Zappa catalogue, notably the release of “200 Motels” in a joint venture with MGM. Speculation.
Due to the relatively short existence of this title Speculation.
I have concluded that this was initially undertaken without your consent or input. True.
As you own the copyright on the name Frank Zappa. True.
you had leverage to stop the continued distribution. Speculation.
Ryko then proceeded to release a long list of unauthorized comilation disks, even though Speculation.
new content was still being provided to them such as “Lather,” True but not part of Sale
“Mystery Disc,” and “Have I Offended Someone?” True – part of Original Sale.
I do not know when the unauthorized digital distribution began, but I have heard it mentioned that download sales were not being properly reported to you and therefor exact amounts of royalties could not be determined. True.
This was the reason for the lawsuit. Speculation.
in undertaking without your consent the digital sales, you had a legitimate claim of Breach Of Contract. Whoa, whoa, “legitimate” has become an obscene term recently. Also Speculation.
In 2006 Ryko was taken over by Warner Bros. No comment.
You wound up having to fight them a second time and WON. Speculation.
You got back all distribution rights because Ryko now owned by Warner Bros. had violated the terms of the contract. Speculation.
Now here’s my question.
Congratulations on kicking Warner Bros. ass again. I have them and a few lawyers to thank for getting the Masters returned to us. The only asses in the picture besides democrats too lazy to vote are those who have been casting their ill-will towards me and my family for years.
XOXOXO, Sean. Thank you.