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Getting Out : Seeking Justice

Intellectual property?

from shikaka - Monday, February 07, 2005
accessed 1727 times

This question has been at the back of my mind for awhile, so maybe someone can shed some light on this. Many exSGAs featured prominently in the Kiddy viddies, treasure attics, fantastic friends, etc.

I know that for a time there was a waiver form curculating among family musicians, transferring all their intellectual property to the family, and waiving all right to what they produced.

How does this translate into the videos? If you never gave your written consent to have yourself filmed, and you now do not want your image and participation in the videos to help the cult support themselves, do you have any legal right to put a stop to the sale of them?

Nobody was ever paid to participate, and many were coerced, told that it was "the lord's will". It was a given among leadership that all the kids would be thrilled to further the lord's work.

The only exception to this would be the time I was being very unyielded, throwing a fit, and refusing to report for filming. Im ashamed to say that I was bribed with chocolate pastries.

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from Joe H
Friday, April 01, 2005 - 23:06


By the way, Happy Birthday, stud-muffin. May you get laid(and drunk) frequently and never have to milk your "child-stardom" for the pittance it might be worth in certain "sold-out" circles.

PS The liberal use of scare quotes in this post is entirely intentional.
(reply to this comment)

from Joe H
Friday, April 01, 2005 - 23:03

As the obnoxious 5-year old who shrieks "It's the time to be happy!!!" on It's The Time To Be Happy, I couldn't agree more. I never signed any fucking form, and if I did, I was five years old, so it's legally, er, illegal! What really chafes my hide is that I once met a mexican exchange student whose eyes lit up when I absentmindedly started humming one of the songs from that tape. Is there no escape?!?!??!!!!!!
(reply to this comment)
from Butterfly Kisses
Friday, April 01, 2005 - 21:26


My dad lives with "Uncle Jim" or "Solomon", & he said that Solomon has all of the rights to the Treasure Attics. I don't know how that happened or if it is even true, but my Dad swears that it is. & that they have NOTHING to do with The Family anymore. If anyone knows other wise, I would really like to know.
(reply to this comment)

From JohnnieWalker
Friday, April 01, 2005, 22:59


That's what they keep saying about FCF, but there are far too many documents to prove otherwise.

Here's one that just got posted on xFamily:

Unless Solomon and all involved in the company are no longer Family members; unless no funds from the sale of this series benefit The Family in any way; unless they have the ability to defy a direct order from WS in regards to the structure of their company and the management of their profits, they cannot claim that they have nothing to do with the Family.(reply to this comment

From butterflykisses
Sunday, April 03, 2005, 15:49


He says that they have done all of the above. That The Family has to buy any copies that they sell. Maybe I'm just crazy, but it's really hard for me to believe that Solomon, who was such a big part of The Family, has completely left. Am I just being paranoid? (reply to this comment

From JohnnieWalker
Sunday, April 03, 2005, 19:54


If that's the case, what is your Dad (a CM member, I assume) doing living in the same home with a non-CM member. That's not allowed according to the charter.

If Solomon's name is still on the monthly TRF, then he's a Family Member.(reply to this comment

Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 23:22


Does anybody else remember when they forbade us listening except on occasion, to the "DTD" tapes that we had to sell to the public?

I remember the song "Daddy please come home, mommy can't make it on her own" and how it made me miss my dad who I hadn't seen or heard from in years. I didn't know if I'd ever see him again. And I would get angry that they would preach to outsiders about keeping families together while they broke ours up.
(reply to this comment)

from Baxter
Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 01:12

I hate to be totally cynical about this, Chris, but won't the Family just try to forge a waiver? Obviously I don't know, but given how many TF people are running around with fake degrees, etc. they might try it.
(reply to this comment)
from clark
Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 11:45

I can almost say for certain no one signed a waiver or can any kind of written consent to make the videos, tapes, etc. It was an "honor" to be one of the cool kids who were famous Family wide. If u r one of them, GET COMPENSATED.
(reply to this comment)
from Fish
Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 08:45

But who will drive my toothbrush when your gone?
(reply to this comment)
from JohnnieWalker
Monday, February 07, 2005 - 17:03


This also applies for their Websites. If your photo is displayed on the Family's Website you can write to the contact address listed on the site and they will remove the images in question if you give them a link to it -- at least they did so and were quite understanding about it when I requested this for my photos about 2 years ago.

The administration of the FCF Website, on the other hand, does not seem to be as helpful. They still have our (my wife's and my) project listed on their Website although it has been out of existence for the last 3 years.

(reply to this comment)

from frmrjoyish
Monday, February 07, 2005 - 16:59


I'm no lawyer but I do know that there are all kinds of ways to get out of a signed waiver. Even a written contract is not valid if there is any slight illegality involved. In that case the entire contract is void. I'd venture to say that depriving children of an ACCREDITED education and in the meantime using their images and work to fund a cult network probably violates a multitude of child-labor laws....waiver or no waiver. Besides, many times companies make employees or customers sign bogus waivers just to headoff litigation in the first place.

However, one's name and image is not the same as intellectual property. If you work for a company and sign over your intellectual property rights, like a scientist working for a drug company would be required to do, I think that is valid and you no longer hold any claim to your inventions or ideas. Again, I'm not a lawyer! Just my two cents!
(reply to this comment)

From Nancy
Monday, February 07, 2005, 17:37


Well, I am a lawyer and even if you signed a contract, it's most likely void, as a minor does not have the capacity to enter into a contract. Further, if they are using your likeness or voice and you have not given them license, as an adult by entering into a valid binding contract, then you have the right to sue them and/or demand that they cease and desist, as well as demand back royalties for exploitation of your image or likeness or voice.

Further, even if you did contract away your rights, as an adult, by entering into a contract by granting the cult license, then even that contract could be void or voidable for lacking consideration. You must receive a benefit of your bargain. You must receive something in return for what you gave up, something of value, called in the legal world consideration. If you did not, the contract is null and void.

There are hundreds of you with possible legal claims. The entire cult's video collection and children's music was built on the exploitation of children who were never compensated. Those children, now adults', rights have not lapsed. They still exist. The FCF is now a 9.9 million dollar business. It seems some of you are owed a piece of that pie, as well as any other projects you worked on as children that they are using or have used. (reply to this comment

From Hansel
Wednesday, February 09, 2005, 23:35

Nancy, where did you go to law school and where do you work now?(reply to this comment
From minor detail
Tuesday, February 08, 2005, 06:58

I'm sure that you're right about all of the legal stuff in there, but at least here in the UK a production company is not required to give 'benefit' - I know this because I've taken part in a couple of TV programmes, and the contracts did not include any form of 'benefit' other than reimbursement of travel costs in one case.

Of course that doesn't mean anything about the legality of whatever contracts may or may not have been drafted by TF. I just wanted to point out that payment is not always required.(reply to this comment
Wednesday, February 09, 2005, 23:31

But isn't it different if you are simply being interviewed than if you are like an entertainer and performing?(reply to this comment
From weegirlie
Tuesday, February 08, 2005, 07:30


Consideration does not necessarily need to be monetary. The principal of consideration in contact is basically to attempt to ensure that one party is not benefitting entirely from the contract to the detriment of the other party.

Therefore you could sign a valid contract giving away your IP rights and allowing yourself to be on TV and receive "consideration" in, for example, something as obscure as the "privilege" of being on TV in itself (since some people would consider it something of value to them to be seen on TV). It is up to a court of law to decide whether consideration is "substantial" enough to hold the contract as valid.(reply to this comment

Wednesday, February 09, 2005, 23:33

But if there is coercion or duress involved, that can't be valid, can it? I mean we were basically slaves in The Family.(reply to this comment
From weegirlie
Tuesday, February 08, 2005, 05:09


It's a good point you make about consideration being necessary for a valid contract, but I believe the legal parents and guardians would have had some capacity to sign away on the child's behalf their IP rights and therefore the parent/guardian could now state that they themselves as the contractors did receive consideration in some form (as consideration doesn't generally need to be a substantial amount, but only has to have some marketable value). However, as far as I know, according to the majority of western legal systems, if a guardian contracts out a child's IP rights they are required to keep any consideration in trust for the child or the contract is not valid.

Realistically though, IP rights in cases such as these would be extremely difficult to enforce considering the worldwide use of the materials in an unconventional marketplace. Also, the majority of IP cases fall under the civil jurisdiction and are therefore very expensive.(reply to this comment

From what about...
Tuesday, February 08, 2005, 04:35

just wondering...what about those who contributed to all those things but in a less obvious building the sets for the TA's, costumes etc? would the same laws apply or is that more difficult?(reply to this comment
Monday, February 07, 2005, 22:30

Nancy, it's so good when you talk dirty! :) (reply to this comment
from bright guy
Monday, February 07, 2005 - 16:18


I think you've got a valid point there.

If they have no record of you signing a waiver, or of your parents or legal guardian signing a waiver or whatever, then it seems to me there is no record of consent to being in the videos, and certainly not to make money off the videos.

You have a right to ask that your likeness be removed from the videos, or they negotiate a contract with you to reimburse you for your services.

People like Nancy might know more about this, but it seems like a good point.

As Aurora Productions AG owns all the rights to these videos, that might be a good place to start.

(reply to this comment)

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