As the whole world got a glimpse into the lives of African Americans this week and the obstacles minorities face around the world, I couldn’t help but to catch a Sam Cooke documentary on prime video. The documentary told details of the life of the talented singer, songwriter, and civil rights activist. I was surprised to find out that all of the beautiful music he created was not even owned by his estate or a record label but rather a person. I learned that his family have not received any benefits or royalties from his life’s work and for the purpose of this post I wanted to get a picture of Allen Klein, the person along with Sam Cooke, who owns his rights but couldn’t find one. It made me think of a project I did in college years ago about how people should control and benefit from their own content. I did the assignment when I noticed the popularity of memes and how people were beginning to create short clips or montages to give their followers a laugh for free; Facebook brought Giphy for 400 million earlier this year and let’s just say I saw it coming.
Still to this day, I hear of ideas getting taken by big corporations or individuals with more of a following or vision, as well as up and coming talent who sign away all of their rights for money that they will eventually have to pay back; when will people learn? When will we all understand the benefits of the world wide web? Today we have information that is readily available and just about anyone can research a topic of their choice, develop an idea, and make some type of profit. I want people to take the time and discover that a large portion of all the great inventions and content that we consume daily were in fact created by someone who we never would have thought.
The creators of Superman sold the rights to DC Comics in 1938 for $130, about $2,300 today; we all know what Superman is worth now. What is even more crazy and will really make you understand what I’m saying is that the physical $130 paper check actually sold at auction in 2012 for $160,000. The check was actioned by the heirs of DC Comic’s original owners, so the original creators of superman didn’t even get a piece of that pie. What I’m saying is in this day in time you must own what you create and make sure the residuals stay within your family. Legalzoom.com and Copyright.gov have all the resources and ability you need to control the beautiful ideas you contribute to the world. In 2020, one major way to control your content is by creating your own website to post your thoughts and pictures, host your own video, social media and content video sites are great and have a huge customer base but if you want to make your own money, make your own decisions about what is allowed and protect your content and ideas from those who steal then I advise you to get more conscious of what you own and how are you going to continue to own it and distribute it in a safe and efficient way.
Check that bought Superman rights for $130 sells for $160,000
The markets are very unpredictable at this moment, so I will be shuffling my portfolio this week, optioning heavy. I want to try to get a grasp on what I feel would happen the next few months. I feel not all are focused on productivity and how will their bills get paid in November, I ask this week that you take time and get a clear picture of your business and your family’s personal financial approach for the next few weeks.
“It feels like there is now lots of support around, but how much of that support is monetary?”
Until the next, I thank you for your time.