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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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My late father is owed royalties from some pieces of music

Customer Question

My late father is owed royalties from some pieces of music he wrote 30 years ago. The royalties were paid yearly to my mother until 15 years ago but nothing has been paid since then. The music is still sold regularly as some are set exam pieces, so on Music School's syllabuses. I've written, phoned and e mailed the publishers but they won't answer any correspondence. I also sent them copies of the original official documents. Could anyone please advise on what I should do next? Thanking you in advance, Juliet XXXXXXXX.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

Sorry to hear about this.

There could be a number of reasons for this e.g. your father's licencing agreement with the publisher has expired so no royalties payable, or your father agreed to transfer them the IP in his work after a certain duration etc.

You should try and get hold of any written agreement/licence which your father entered into with the publisher.

I would suggest that you get a solicitor to write to the publisher and give the publisher say 7 days to respond to the queries and claim for royalties, the publisher will be more inclined to respond to a solicitor than you personally.

Hope this helps
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I told you in the first message that I sent to you that I already have the original documents/agreement. I've sent copies to the publishers.

Obviously I've already checked that there's nothing in the agreements about giving up payments of royalties,or any other clauses like that.

Juliet XXXXXXXX.

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.
Hello again Juliet,

In that case it would appear that there is agood claim against the publisher for breach of contract and the representatives of your late father's estate may file a court claim against the publisher seeking the money and interest thereon at court rates if there is no interest rate for late payments mentioned in the agreement.

I would suggest that a solicitor be appointed to review the agreement/documents to ensure that any claim is not time barred by law.

Hope this helps

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