Big news travels fast. And big questions follow right behind. On the very day pop superstar Prince was found dead, KWIKH founding members Howard Weitzman and Larry Iser were asked by The Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Times, respectively, about the future of Prince’s music catalog.
In life, Prince was known for his fierce protection of his intellectual property, but it remains to be seen what will happen to it now that control shifts to his estate and its handlers.
Howard is certainly the right guy to ask about these things since he’s been handling the legal affairs of Michael Jackson’s estate since Jackson’s death in 2009.
“Bluntly, it won’t be his decision to make anymore,” says Howard. “Whoever ends up being the administrators and executors will make those decisions. … Some people provide in their will how the intellectual property may be used over a period of time, but we don’t know what his estate planning is yet.”
Larry, a top intellectual property lawyer for many years, echoed the idea that Prince has always played his IP cards close to the vest. “Historically, Prince was exceedingly protective of his music. I for one would be very surprised if he didn’t have an estate plan in place to keep those restrictions intact.”
For The Hollywood Reporter story, see Prince’s Legal Legacy: Contract Fights, Copyright Battles and Changing His Name.
For the L.A. Times article, see Prince took a protective stance on music copyrights.