Aretha Franklin Wants Royalties For That Hat She Wore...

from the oh-really? dept

It's always amusing to see what people feel they "deserve." Reader Brad writes in to point out that Aretha Franklin apparently told a radio reporter recently that she deserves royalties for any sales of the famous hat she wore to the inauguration. It's unclear if she was joking (one hopes she was)... But it does seem to be a common theme, where people suddenly think they automatically deserve a cut of something, despite not having set up an agreement for that beforehand. Newspapers want a cut of Google's revenues. Record labels want a cut of ISP revenue (and Apple's revenue). It just happens so often that it's worth calling out -- even in a totally ridiculous discussion about a hat. No one deserves a cut of anything if they didn't actually negotiate it beforehand.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, May 12th, 2009 @ 6:50am

    She needs the cash, yo...

    Do you have any idea how much Urethra needs to eat to maintain her famous figure? She must constantly graze, ever mobile, and crane her neck so that she can reach the topmost branches and leaves. But beware, Urethrasaur...there is always a Britneysaurus Rex nearby!

    Ok, I need to have my morning coffee...

     

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  2.  
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    JoanieR, May 12th, 2009 @ 6:53am

    Royalties Shmoyalties

    Even as the Diva of Soul, Aretha "deserves" nothing here. Not only was there no agreement prior to the event that prompted Aretha's back-pedaling, what has happened to "pay it forward" or even "do the right thing?" If she genuinely enjoys her milliner's creations, then she ought to wear them, tell everyone the source, and enjoy the fruits of her kindness. Aretha, get a life.

     

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  3.  
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    IT guy, May 12th, 2009 @ 7:08am

    me too!

    I installed some IT equipment in a company 5 years ago. That company must have made lots of money using that equipment since then.

    Maybe I should get my lawyer to contact the company with regard to paying me royalties!

     

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  4.  
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    lulz, May 12th, 2009 @ 7:10am

    So what?

    Just because some crackpot fool demands that he/she deserves something, doesn't mean they will get it.
    It means that people will do/buy whatever they want money for, and not pay them their precious, rightful royalties.
    Screw 'em.

     

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  5.  
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    R. Miles, May 12th, 2009 @ 7:38am

    A revision is needed.

    From:
    No one deserves a cut of anything if they didn't actually negotiate it beforehand.
    To:
    No one deserves a cut of anything if they didn't actually do any labor before hand.

    Given this seems to be at fault for the following industries:
    movies
    music
    newspapers

    But hey, why worry over semantics, right?

     

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  6.  
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    fatcat, May 12th, 2009 @ 7:38am

    she must be broke

     

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  7.  
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    Ben, May 12th, 2009 @ 7:40am

    A cut of the losses, too?

    Yes, everyone comes out of the woodwork when there is a success story, but not willing to take on the losses of failed ventures. If there was prior negotiation, there would be some sort of risk due, instead of guaranteed reward.

     

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  8.  
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    Thom Thumbh, May 12th, 2009 @ 8:02am

    It's been like this for centuries. It's just that these days people are demanding it publicly amid a background of litigation and mis-used IP legislation.

     

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  9.  
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    Mark, May 12th, 2009 @ 8:09am

    Slow news day?


    It just happens so often that it's worth calling out -- even in a totally ridiculous discussion about a hat.


    No, it's not.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 12th, 2009 @ 8:17am

    Long ago a friend catered a film shoot at which Aretha was working. Sadly, his report is that she was an absolute pig. She smelled - ravaged the food table - was horribly rude to all present.

    And so it goes.

     

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  11.  
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    Richard, May 12th, 2009 @ 8:43am

    Who was first to urinate?

    I guess everybody needs to pay a royalty to the first person who pissed, too. This is ridiculous.

     

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  12.  
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    JustMe, May 12th, 2009 @ 9:41am

    What about the guy who designed the hat??

    All she did was wear it. Seems to me like she should have given him the props.

     

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  13.  
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    Vincent Clement, May 12th, 2009 @ 10:34am

    What next? Maytag suing Proctor and Gamble for a portion of the profits from selling laundry detergent?

     

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  14.  
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    my two cents, May 12th, 2009 @ 10:57am

    Oh, really?!!

    I suppose you think that Michelle Obama shouldn't get paid for "blowing up" her designer, either, uh? I'd argue at the very least, he should give her the clothes (hat). Who had heard of the designer (in either case) internationally before she wore the hat or Mrs. Obama wore the clothes? How many sales do you think were made? And, have you ever heard of re-negotiation of a contract? I believe that's what is called an endorsement deal.

     

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  15.  
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    BruJr, May 12th, 2009 @ 11:07am

    Re: Oh, really?!!

    Umm... Last time I checked, even celebrities have certain needs to be met - eating, housing, clothing (well, except maybe certain elements of the ...ahem... more "mature" entertainments). Does this mean that every celebrity should recieve an unsolicited royalty for every food or clothing item they happen to be photographed consuming/wearing? If this is the case, then the company that made Nick Nolte's shirt in the famous mug-shot should be entitled to damages for defamation.

     

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  16.  
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    my two cents, May 12th, 2009 @ 11:16am

    Oh, really?!!

    When celebrities wear designers' clothing they know that by having their item worn it could go either way - be on the best dressed list or worst dressed list. So, yeah, I believe they should be paid. The celebrity is taking a risk, too. No different than when they're on the red carpet and reporters ask them, "who are you wearing" - that's a plug for the designer (who didn't pay for advertising or royalities) but who allows the celebrity to "borrow" their item (i.e. jewelry, gowns, shoes).

     

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  17.  
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    Me, May 12th, 2009 @ 11:19am

    Re: Oh, really?!!

    A friend of my wife's designs maternity clothing that many celebrities happen to fancy. Her experience tends to confirm what you've probably already heard; Many celebrities expect, and get, free items with the expressed understanding that it may boost sales when they're seen wearing them. Never heard of anyone requesting royalties when such a boost in sales actually does happen.

     

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  18.  
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    Tgeigs, May 12th, 2009 @ 11:36am

    Re: Oh, really?!!

    Please tell me you're dicking around. You're telling me that because a celebrity CHOOSES to wear a manufacturer's clothing that the label then has to PAY THE CELEBRITY? Even if it's unsolicited?

    So:

    1. Label makes hat
    2. Celeb likes hat, wears it
    3. Hat receives press, resulting in sales for label
    4. Label is FORCED to pay celeb?

    Is that what you think is right/just?

     

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  19.  
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    lulz, May 12th, 2009 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Oh, really?!!

    but who allows the celebrity to "borrow" their item (i.e. jewelry, gowns, shoes).

    By your false logic, every designer of every single garment MUST PAY the purchasers, because, well... they are getting free advertising.

    I don't deserve money if I wear an American Eagle shirt in public.
    I don't deserve money if I drive a Honda in public.
    I don't deserve money if I lend someone a book and they buy more books from that publisher

    I don't deserve money if I advertise a company or product by word of mouth or implicitly by wearing it in public. Maybe I'm just a good person giving my preferred company free advertising.

    Royalty whore.

     

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  20.  
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    Dave, May 12th, 2009 @ 2:53pm

    she's great, but

    I think Aretha's great, but like many good singers, she's not a thinker, not even slightly. In fact, her life is famously a mess. So rest assured that her opinions on anything other than gospel singing and playing can safely be ignored.

     

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  21.  
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    Techflaws.org, May 13th, 2009 @ 6:35am

    I should get paid

    for having to endure that song sung so very badly! Her best days are well past her.

     

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  22.  
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    Wendell Bailey, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:35am

    Queen's Hat

    No one said the designer is FORCED to pay a royalty. I can only speak for myself. If I designed something that a celeb wore and it doubled my business and brought me customers and attention from all over the world. It caused me to move to a bigger shop and store, in the suburbs no less. (Mr. Song is moving to a new fancy location) The celeb would not have to ask me for a commission, I would have already discussed it with the celeb. This reminds me of something Oprah said. She said she has put author's books on her book club list and the books have gone on to be number one on the bestseller list and some of these authors have not even given her a simple "thank you". Before Aretha and this hat Mr. Song sold 90% of his hats to African-American church women in Metro-Detroit. Now his business has grown and he is considering openning stores in other cities with large African-American populations and he is shipping hats all over the world. All of this is directly related to Aretha and the hat.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    TruthFinder, May 15th, 2009 @ 9:49pm

    Re: Queen's Hat

    To Wendell Bailey:

    I am always surprised by people opening their traps without knowing some basic facts. So, let me tell you some.
    Mr Song had planning his move for over a year becuase of his slumlord is too much to bare. By the way, Mr Song evidently tolerated the slumlord and the slum city for 26 years before needing a larger space. That's right, a larger space was needed more than a year ago. The other fact is that Mr Song apparently tried to send her Thank You notes and gifts but was blocked by large ass road-blocks. If you know anything about Urethera, she is impossible to find and impossible to deal with probably because she hides from the IRS and bill collectors. AND he shipped all over the world even before Urethra's debut at the Inauguration. Do you think anyone would have given rat's ass about Urethra except being disgusted at her looking like a bus accident and acting like a trash, before the designer, who was already well known in the fashion industry, dressed her enormous head? It sure seems like Urethra owes Mr Song, not the other way around.
    What kind of a classless person would expect to ask for money because they happened to wear a free garment from a designer?
    Get the facts. Don't be a dumbass. You only make yourself look like what you are...a dumbass.

     

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