Contract Terms That Apply Beyond this Galaxy… Seriously!

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It must be close to Halloween. At least that is the explanation for the interesting story that appears in today’s Wall Street Journal, entitled “Lawyerese Goes Galatic as Contracts Try to Master the Universe.” Written by Dionne Searcy and James Hagerty, (and containing a video clip) the article tells about NBC’s contracts for contestants who compete for its popular show, “ America’s Got Talent.” These contracts contain terms which allow NBC to maintain rights to the performance and allow it to be “edited, in all media, throughout the universe, in perpetuity.” As lawyers, we’ve always imagined writing contract terms that allow our clients to expand their rights beyond the reach of their jurisdiction. NBC has taken its imagination one step further and wrote the language that provides it with rights beyond our solar system!

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