Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Prog Divorce Law?

Steve Hackett famously attracted the attention of Genesis with an ad he placed in Melody Maker pimping himself as a guitarist "determined to strive beyond existing stagnant music forms." I wonder if his now ex wife took a similar tack in getting her divorce lawyer? From The Times comes news that she's going after a chunk of Steve's old Genesis royalties:

ROCK stars beware. A legal case involving the divorce of the former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett and his Brazilian wife could decide how creative assets are split.

* * *

Poor has now issued High Court proceedings saying she is entitled to revenue from his share of classic Genesis songs from the 1970s. Her claim could amount to millions of pounds.

The case will be watched closely by musicians, authors, actors and artists who may be planning to divorce. Ayesha Vardag, a leading divorce lawyer, said it would help to clarify how the English courts treat the proceeds of past and future “intellectual property” accrued during a marriage.
I don't know about British law, but generally in American family law, assets that accrue during a marriage belong to both spouses. I don't see offhand why intellectual property should be different. If it wants to play like real tangible property, it's got to go all in. That appears to be what the precedent the article discusses (a dispute over the profits from Trival Pursuit) says, anyway.

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