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Music Law: Beyoncé “Upgrades” Video Game Developer, Gets Slapped With $100 Million Suit

In Music Law by FASHIONENTLAW™

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Lots of breach of contract claims this past week. Time to continue our conversation on this blog. The latest is a video game developer who sues Beyoncé for $100million bad faith breach of contract. Beyoncé  (B) tried doing an “upgrade” on them  in a really bad way, they claim. The video game developer(s) came back saying, “Nope! you can’t “upgrade” us and we are definitely not “irreplacable.” Two ways we can do this B. You come back and it will be alright otherwise we will slap you with a $100million lawsuit so fast you wouldn’t know what hit you! We are not impressed with your dance moves either.” B obviously did not take them seriously because here we are!

As an aside, have you heard Beyoncé’s new release “Rule the World (Girls)”? One of the writers at Ladybrille did a story on the song praising it and all I could think of, on a personal level, was how much I didn’t care for it. It’s like a bad case of multiple personality disorder going on with the character in the song that is supposed to be a woman empowerment “thingy.” The lyrics and song made no sense for me, with the exception of a few lines. I digress. Back to the topic at hand.

Mrs. Carter got sued for a breach of contract claim. Visit my J.Lo & Mos Def article for basics on breach of contract claims. Visit my OMGfacts Twitter article for more discussions where a party seeks to cancel an otherwise valid contract.

Since I have dealt with breach of contract claims above, the focus here is more of the procedural aspect of what happens if your fashion or entertainment business; or you the superstar/hopeful superstar i.e. musician, designer, actress/actor, filmmaker etc. get sued? What do you do?

First, get a lawyer. If you will do business in the USA and especially if you are in the fashion and entertainment industry, you should have a solid legal team in place, from the onset. It comes with doing business. In America, someone is waiting to sue you, or you are the one suing, depending on the facts. Even if you can’t afford to pay the legal fees yet, have a clear idea of the law firm or attorney you want to address your legal needs.

Second, if you’ve never dealt with the legal system, in California, once you are served the summons and complaint (aka pleadings) filed against you, you’ve got thirty (30)days to respond. In legal speak, this is called an “Answer.” What most defendants routinely do in the “Answer” is write a general denial of all allegations made in the complaint. The suit has just commenced so a Defendant needs time for the investigative process which is why a general denial is entered. If you are a procastinator i.e. have a propensity to run from your problems hoping it all goes away, DON’T, on this one. Your legal troubles will not go away. If you do not respond by the 30th day, expect a default judgment. Default judgment means the Plaintiff who brought the suit against you, won!

Years ago, I was at my local law library when a gentleman walked up to me and began asking if I knew an attorney or attorneys I could refer him to. Before I could even get a word in, he told me he was in distress because he did not answer a complaint that was filed against him for over $1million dollars. He defaulted. The court entered a judgment against him. He tried to get the court to reverse its decision but the court refused.

Don’t let this be your story. Get your attorney, get on it. Enough from me. Check out the Beyoncé Video Game lawsuit that has just been filed.

“Beyoncé has been sued by a video game developer for $100 million for allegedly pulling out of a deal to create a motion-sensing dance video game after the company spent $6.7 million on the project. The pop star is said to have acted on “a whim,” driving 70 people into unemployment the week before Christmas with an “extortionate demand” for more compensation.

Gate Five filed a summons Tuesday in New York Supreme Court, teasing a complaint soon to be filed that would fully lay out the details of what happened. But in advance of that complaint, which is said to be delayed as the parties resolve confidentiality issues, the three-page summons reveals high drama last December.

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter allegedly demanded more money at a “crucial moment” in the development of a dance video game that was to be called Starpower: Beyoncé. Her demands purportedly drove away the financier, who is said to have found the pop singer “too erratic” to do business with.

The summons continues:

“Her actions were so unscrupulous that her then-manager (who is also her father) renounced them, while a senior member of the company that had agreed to finance the project condemned her conduct as ‘morally reprehensible’ in an email he sent to one of her talent agents. . .”

THR, Esq. has the full story.

On a separate note, I am impressed with her Let’s Move music video as part of the Michelle Obama Let’s Move campaign!

Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her firm’s fashion and entertainment law practice areas. Ms. Uduak has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts. She has also handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients including network television and licensing deals. Her work and contributions to the creative industry has been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA: ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also the author of Fashionentlaw™ and also has over two decades combined hands on industry experience in the creative industry which includes modeling, retail, fashion production, public relations, digital media, journalism and publishing. For further inquiries or if you are seeking legal representation, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). You may also follow her on twitter at @uduaklaw

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