www.laurabranigan.com Wins WIPO
Other Half Entertainment
On Nov 4th 2005 approximately 1 year and 2 months AFTER Laura Branigan passes away. Other Half Entertainment files a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization. I was formally notified and the proceedings commenced on November 15, 2005.The due date for Response was December 5, 2005.Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, my response was filed with the Center on December 7, 2005 and accepted.
www.laurabranigan.com-OneStor is the respondent. Other Half Entertainment is the complainant
The Center appointed Prof. Frederick Abbott as the Sole Panelist in this matter on December 19, 2005.
Frederick Abbott, the Edward Ball Eminent Scholar, is highly regarded for his scholarship and professional activities in international intellectual property rights and global economic issues. He is Rapporteur for the Committee on International Trade Law of the International Law Association, consultant to the UNCTAD/ICTSD Project on Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development, to the World Health Organization and the World Bank. He is on the Panel of Experts of UNCTAD’s Program on the Settlement of Disputes in International Trade, Investment and Intellectual Property. Professor Abbott serves as panelist for the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of International Economic Law (Oxford). He is former Chair of the American Society of Law Intellectual Property Interest Group and the International Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools, and former Director of the American Society of International Law Research Project on Human Rights and International Trade. He is Chair of the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee of the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics.more about Prof. Abbott
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy sets forth three elements that must be established by a complainant to merit a finding that a respondent-laurabranigan.com(OneStor) has engaged in abusive domain name registration and use, and to obtain relief. These elements are that:
(i) respondent’s domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) respondent’s domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Each of the aforesaid three elements must be proved by a complainant to warrant relief
Some key points of the case and questions regarding the validity of the contract. The complainant is Other Half Entertainment:
c) Agreement subject to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, at which time provision shall be made for the continuance of my career and/or career legacy, as outlined in this Agreement.
(n) This Agreement shall be deemed to be executed in the State of New York and shall be construed in accordance with the laws of said State.”
Complainant asserts that it is a partnership registered in the State of Pennsylvania, constituted by Kathy Golik and Vincent Golik, and formerly also by Laura Branigan
Jason: Is this a agreement or a contract? Is it subject to the laws of Pennsylvania or New York? If the Contract is for 3 people why only 2 signature's and no witness's, notary or lawyers included. Was this made after her death.
Other Half Entertainment, the Complainant respectfully requests the Panel to consider our clear intent that Other Half Entertainment, as duly-authorized rights owner, and the late Laura Branigan as prima facie party to many of the assertions in the Complaint, be the named Complainant(s). To the extent that the foregoing may have been unclear in the original writing of the Complaint, Complainant regrets any confusion, affirms that any such confusion was accidental and unintentional, and if any confusion may have arisen in the Panel’s view, that the Panel consider the facts that this Complaint is Complainant’s only experience with such a filing, and that Complainant is not being materially directed or assisted by legal counsel.”
The Panel reviewed the Artist Agreement following its submission by Complainant and identified a number of elements that, on their face, raised difficulties in interpretation and application.
The partnership agreement – if given the benefit of the doubt in establishing a partnership – does not indicate what would happen to the trademark in the event of termination, except by reason of death of the partners. The finding of a partnership requires resolving doubt because the agreement most commonly refers to “I” for Laura Branigan, and “you” as Kathy Golik, as in the creation of a management or agency agreement (and the Artist Agreement is, in fact, headed as “Artist-Manager-Agency Agreement Management and Production Contract”, and not as a partnership agreement) with references to the creation of a “partnership” appearing episodically.
Second, the Artist Agreement in paragraph 1(c) makes provision for “extending” rights in her trademark upon her death, while at the same time stating that those rights have been transferred “in perpetuity” during her life. Yet this particular paragraph in which rights are transferred in perpetuity and extended in the event of death expressly permits amendment or removal by the parties on one month’s notice. What was intended? Might someone who has purported to immediately and irrevocably transfer her rights change that disposition ex post facto?
Administrative Order No. 3, the Panel raised concern about provisions of the contract and indicated that it would be disinclined to give effect to the Artist Agreement absent some evidence of approval of its terms as a testamentary instrument by the executor of the estate, a probate court or some other governmental authority. In response to the Administrative Order, Complainant indicated that there was no will or other testamentary instrument appointing an executor for the estate, and submitted a probate search report from the clerk of the Suffolk County New York Surrogate’s Court indicating no record of probate for Laura Branigan
Complainant Other Half Entertainment Misleads WIPO and Prof.Abbott:
Complainant indicated that there are no potential beneficiaries who take an interest in the decedent’s estate. At the same time, it made reference to siblings of the decedent.
Complainant also argued that the Panel should not take an interest in questions such as whether an executor was appointed, or whether the contract was reviewed by a government authority.
However, while indicating that there were no potential beneficiaries of the estate, Complainant stated that the decedent was estranged from family members, writing that “It must be clearly understood that Mr. Branigan was absolutely adamant in his decision that neither he nor his siblings, as he clearly understood from them, wanted any part, interest, or assignment with anything related to their sister Laura, whether personal or business-related”.
Complainant states that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name because, inter alia, its use of that domain name was never authorized by Complainant.
Because Complainant has not established rights in a trademark, the Panel is dismissing its Complaint without considering the other elements necessary to establish abusive domain name registration and use under the Policy.
For all the foregoing reasons, the Complaint is denied. Date: February 6, 2006
Frederick M. Abbott
The Complete Document can be found here http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2005/d2005-1156.html. or google laura branigan WIPO.
The contract is not worth the paper its wrote on. It's worthless.
I had to post this to stop Other Half Entertainment from trying to keep Laura's music for themselves. By misleading the fans before with Dance Street Records by saying it not an official release, telling fans to boycott the CDs from Dance Street and then threaten to sue Dance Street. I had to speak out. They don't own the rights to anything, I know they called and harassed sunset, leave 5 minute voice mail's and a huge emails and threat's, then even question the owner and company as a whole saying things that are untrue and misleading. Kathy wrote 'Fans who took action on this information should consider reversing or canceling any action they may have taken based on this information, until more concrete data on potential projects or concepts is made available here to the fans'.
Fans this could of cause Sunset or another label to re think releasing the material, delay or even cancel it. Ask yourself why are they stopping the music from getting to the fans, all fans. Its insane. The world deserves to hear Laura's voice
From: "Don Lichterman /
I am not reading anything from that site. I had heard they dogged us but ironically, they are not the official anything for any artist, let alone branigan. Federal law gives the family the rights to that catalog. It's a law. This is not me popping off today says Don Lichterman founder of Sunset records.
I have talked to Sunset Records and both Sunset Records and www.laurabranigan.com are absolutely 100 percent in support of getting the music out. It will be delayed as the tracks need more time to reduce hiss and pops.. Remember this 2 Disc boxset has unreleased material and it would be a shame to rush it out, providing nothing come up, IMO I would expect a late January date. I would not doubt anything legal could happen and delay the release, remember Vince and Kathy tried to sue Dance Street and took me to WIPO. And lost.
I never really commented on anything the Golik's had to say. It was more professional for us to stand the higher ground and not sink to that level. But this incident with Sunset Records has got me livid. Who are they to try and stop the music. Music that has never been heard before. Music that the fans deserve. They will try to manipulate the record company and the fans. I knew what happened and how I started with Laura in 1998. But they are liars and very harassing annoying people. read below
Remember this part; The fact is that laurabranigan.com is not and has never been Ms. Branigan’s official website Ms. Branigan at no time authorized nor endorsed the website found at laurabranigan.com. Furthermore, Mr Fiore and/or OneStor have never, at any time, been authorized or legally permitted to sell any works of Ms. Branigan, whether copyrighted by Atlantic Recording Corporation, or any of its assignees. says Kathy and Vince Golik..
First I don't need to be authorized to sell CD's. Did you authorize all the stores and individual shops in the USA? Canada? We know you stopped Leanne from selling on Ebay and tried to bring a lawsuit against Dance Street Records.others?
This is one of my Annex's-Letters I sent to WIPO.
This is Vince Golik's post on the www.laurabranigan.com discussion board in Aug 2002.
Pg 6 of 11 Half way down- edited for length as Vince is a talker.
Allow us to out this debate to rest: www.laurabrangan.com is the official website and always has been.
To Prove the legitimacy of the Jason Fiore website as official here are some facts about the website that can NOT be disputed:
1) Jason Fiore was the first person to actually register and build the OFFICIAL website in 1998.This fact is supported from the following sources.
a. Laura herself, during our personal conversation with her on June 2 after her last "Love Janis" performance, After the typical chitchat, I personally directed the conversation toward the website asking her if she reads all the posts on the site's linked discussion board. She told us that she didn't have computer herself, but her personal assistant Eileen has a PC and Eileen reads the post and summarizes them for Laura. Laura went on to say she wasn't happy with the current state of her official website at laurabranigan.com because she understood the site wasn't being updated regularly, and that there were a flurry of negative post on the discussion board, many related to the lack of interactivity on her official website.
b. Leanne, from many posts she made in the past on the previous message board defending Jason's legitimacy, She confirmed that she was backstage at the same Las Vegas show that Jason was at in 1998.Laura gave Jason the OK to build and run her official website.
c. Laura's personal assistant , in a phone conversation I had with her on July 8.
d. Steven Laitmon, Laura's current manager, during a phone conversation I had with him on July 12.actually we had been in conversations with him earlier then this date, but this conversation is the one in which he echoed Eileen's words about the official site not being a priority.
2. Many public media -related websites that deal with artist information, such as shows they'll be on concert dates, music sales, tickets, biographies, etc., will usually reference an artist official website with a link from their pages. Here is a perfect example, especially since you mat be looking online to buy the new "ESSENTIALS" CD: go to www.cdnow.com and you'll notice that even CDNOW recognizes the legitimacy of laurabranigan.com.
3. I know from my personal experience in registering and maintain domain names. blah blah, Celine Dion had to resort to a lawsuit to forcibly obtain that domain from the owner. The court easily upheld Celine's right to have a domain that was purely her public-known name. In the same manner, if Laura herself didn't give Jason the clear permission to register and host the domain with her public name, he could easily be sued by her and have to give up the domain; but as it is ,a lawsuit would not be feasible since it is verifiable that she DID give him permission to do this.
4. This point is the most compelling evidence >Laura herself has referred to the "laurabranigan.com site publicly and therefore endorses and condones its existence as official. Remember, those of you who where at the January 2002 Mohegan Sun concert (Kathy and I were also there) That Laura, when she prepared to sing "The Winner Takes It All", got a round of applause from the fans. She asked the audience how we knew about the song, and many of us shouted out " the website "She told her audence to go to her website for more information about the song as well as more concert dates that will be coming up, since she said she's "back". After the show there was a big buzz in what I euphemistically call the "receiving line", Since many of us noticed and were talking about the fact that Jason himself was there with some other people presumably from his "team". Jason had a Mohegan sun press pass around his neck, and was standing behind the table where Laura was sitting, and early on, he was "directing traffic" along the line. Now think about this: if Jason wasn't the official site webmaster, how could he rate a official Mohegan sun press pass? and the more intense fact here, if Laura knew that the site that Jason runs was not her official site, then why would she allow him to stand behind her the whole time? for good or bad Jason IS the official webmaster.
This make Other Half Entertainment, Vince and Kathy Golik liars and frauds.
Here is a post from Steve Savicki Oct 28,2008 on our discussion board. Questioning Vince and Kathy and the new release.
Lichterman / Sunset Records" <Don.Lichterman at SunsetRecordings.com>
I am not reading anything from that site. I had heard they dogged us but ironically, they are not the official anything for any artist, let alone branigan. Federal law gives the family the rights to that catalog. It's a law. This is not me popping off today.
With that in mind, I ordered studio time because we need to remaster about 60% of those songs that will be on the new cd. Right now, the producer has it mastered and there is too much "noise" lets just say. I am coordinating getting the producer down to NYC to work with my engineer to remix and master what we have in hand. I therefore pushed the street date back to mid December though I may even wait till late January (music industry shuts down in December/January).
But, I am very excited about this project. I love the added value with all the unreleased material. Let alone the unique versions of the songs they have in place for the set. It's a great project for her fans. And, we are paying the actual estate or brother in this case. It's the legal protocol and I am all for it, but most of all, I am not going through some self proclaimed official site just because of some ego thing they have towards us working that music. I guess they would want another best of or greatest hits with the 11 most favorite branigan songs but that is ridic at this time…especially with these masters out there doing nothing today. Its insane actually, but also, that is not the spirit of this project. This project is to be done by actual fans and that means the liner notes, the artwork, the photography and the compiling of the music.
I did the same thing for the Grateful Dead Boxed set and I have a gold record hanging on my wall…at $189 SRLP; that is 45 million in revenues we generated for the label and this was back in 2005, let alone today.
This will be a prestigious set with great liner notes and great photo work, artwork, music, unreleased material, never before heard versions of songs, etc…let alone great versions of great music that her fans need to have in hand considering the landscape of distribution today. It should NOT be sitting around collecting dust today….That's a crying shame to be honest…
I appreciate it but again, I am more about the music and the real fans of that music….Fans can make the choice whether they want whatever product. In this industry, I will be the best thing since sliced bread when it works those peoples way and I am the worst human when things do not work their way…I learned to stay focused to what I am bringing to the world. And, have blinders to people that try to stop my process.
The last thing I would ever do is hinder that process of creating new music for fans. Which again, is the crying shame of it all about their post or blog about sunset….what type of person does not want something out because they are not called the producer? That is not normal and there is no room for it in this industry.
Further, the bottom line is that if they had any right at all to anything at all, I would have cease and desist letters from them in every way. I deal that way if I felt my catalog was being misused and I have actually used every tactic known to man kind when that happed to me at sunset..I was relentless to make them stop…I did not stop until I got my way.
Its not about ego. Its about the fans and getting them new music…which is tough order considering she is not living today. People will see that when all is said and done when it comes to me…and my work…
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