The fact that the contract provides for the transferor’s participation in the results of the assigned rights does not denature the contract, making it an issue, since the consideration for the assignment can be established both fixedly and immediately as well as variable and in installments.
Based on this understanding, judge Rodrigo Ramos, of the 2nd Civil Court of the São Paulo Court of Justice, denied request made by singers and composers Roberto Carlos and Erasmo Carlos to recover the rights to 72 songs currently owned by Fermata publisher.
In the lawsuit, Roberto and Erasmo asked for the cancellation of contracts signed between 1964 and 1987, on the grounds that they had not assigned the copyright, but only given the right to explore and commercially manage the works.
“Asigning the contract with the defendant, they did not aim, at any time, to sell their works. They only intended to license a specialized company to manage part of their repertoire, with a view to enhancing the economic benefits of their creations. Although the contracts signed were called ‘assignment’, their essence and nature are that of publishing contracts “, claim the composers.
When analyzing the case, the magistrate points out that, regardless of the denomination used for the contracts, all the provisions refer to the existence of an effective and unequivocal assignment of copyrights, so, therefore, they must be interpreted.
“It should be noted that whoever concludes a contract thinking it is another one and does not agree with the terms of the effectively signed, certainly would not repeat the same act again. The authors, however, maintained the partnership with the defendant for more than two decades. (from 1964 to 1987), giving in the period the rights of 72 works, with those same terms, which again excludes the possibility of a conception error “, pointed out the judge in the sentence.
Therefore, the magistrate judged that almost all the plaintiffs’ requests are unfounded, only accepting the claim regarding the song “I urgently need to find a friend” – in this case, the judge considered that, in fact, the contract was not a transfer of rights.
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