Re: Need expert to determine value of copyrights

From: Theodora Michaels <the0d0ra[_at_]>
Date: Fri, 06 Jan 2006 12:00:00 -0500

Maybe I should have provided more information. Both films (probably the biggest assets of those I listed) were shot extremely low budget, such that even moderate DVD sales would cause the films to break even. One is by a studio some list-members may have heard of, which has a devoted cult following; I'd be surprised if it isn't profitable eventually, although it may take a while to get there.

Basically I didn't want to assume the films aren't worth spending much research or negotiating time on, then one turns into the next Supersize Me (which I assume was profitable) or something like that. Of course, I know appraisals can be wrong, but I figure they're more informative than no appraisal at all.

There's also the issue that the divorce defendant is apparently co-owner with the studio due to their (astonishing, to me) failure to obtain a valid work-for-hire contract for his work on the film. I suspect that the studio won't be happy to have divorce plaintiff as a co-owner as well (assuming the ownership interest is marital property subject to division), and will be willing to buy her out on favorable terms just to avoid having another co-owner. But it would be nice to have a starting point for the negotiations. (If anyone has experience in similar matters, any and all suggestions or anecdotes would be much appreciated. This intersection of copyright law and divorce law is new to me.)

The other assets are in a similarly grey area between "too small to bother with" and "potentially too valuable to ignore." Commissioned works by moderately known artists, books that were purchased by publishers but then returned unpublished, recordings of sufficient merit for lucrative licensing deals but thus far unlicensed, etc.

So, as I said, any recommendations for appraisers? ;-)


J. Noble wrote:

> Not OT in my opinion. Your number is the present value of the
> anticipated revenue stream after costs are recovered. My gut reaction
> is that they wouldn't be indie films if there was an anticipated
> revenue stream. If you find somebody who appraises hopes and wishes,
> opposing counsel should ask if he'd buy them for ten percent off. You
> can't "average out" a mile of red ink against imaginable blockbuster
> profits. You have to pull the asset out of the basket and deal with it
> separately. You can either share unrealized losses, as well as
> profits, going forward; or you can determine fair market value by
> finding a willing buyer, either a third party or the spouse, whose
> bona fide offer sets a ceiling or floor on fair market value,
> depending on whether the copyright owner accepts or refuses the offer.
> John Noble
> At 6:15 PM -0500 1/5/06, Theodora Michaels wrote:
>> Somewhat OT so please reply directly. I'm in need of one or more
>> experts to determine the value of several copyrights at issue in a
>> divorce settlement negotiation. There are two indie films in post
>> production, songs, recordings, books and artwork. These are
>> relatively low-profile works so I don't need a "top" expert, just
>> someone competent. The parties are in NYC if that matters. Thanks
>> for any recommendations.
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Received on Fri Jan 06 2006 - 22:00:00 GMT

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