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The Structure of The 'Britney Spears' Brand, and who owns it?


mocha latto

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Over the past few months, I have been very busy with research and activism related to Eat Predators. I am grateful for all the support I have received from you guys! It means a lot as Ive been discouraged by negativity. Without your encouragement, I wouldn't have been able to pursue this venture.

There's also a podcast with me out there and the information I had was a bit outdated.

I've had the chance to speak with people with more expertise and similar concerns now so I have a more solid idea about how her brand works and why I think it should be relevant with the movement, and is an artists rights and abuse of conservatorship issue that is unique and lands in a (what I believe to be very intentional) grey area. 

An artists brand is an intellectual "Thing" which has a structure that, for artists with strong brands, like a business. 

Britney Brands

  • Britney Brands(BB) is a company responsible for the production of her merchandise, such as toys and games, clothing and memorabilia.
  • If you look at some of your Britney merchandise, you will see the name Britney Brands on the packaging.
  •  From what it appears, is separate from her actual music, including CDs and Vinyls, which appears to be handled by RCA according to what I see on my vinyl of Glory. (I will make a separate thread for this.)  
  • BB would get the royalties agreed upon by Epic Rights & Manufacturer/Producer of merchandise. 
  • As of 02/15 Micheal Kane remains sole director of the company, and all branches, according to public records (Reference)
  • Britney Spears is not in a position of power at Britney Brands according to public record.
  • "Functions assigned to the business officer role may include financial management, personnel administration/management, payroll, purchasing, inventory control, facilities coordination/planning, information technology assessment/planning, and closely related work." (source)

A quote from Britneys former Marketing manager, Kim Kaiman

 

"..all of that money that is spent on [brand marketing] has to be paid back, which is called a recoup/recoupment. So, the artist doesn't realize that if the label spends a quarter of a million dollars on the initial marketing of [release; such as an album being released] that the artist is going to have to pay that back. And if they don't pay it back by streams or touring or by merchandising or by a brand sponsorship tie-in, they're going to be in the poor house, and a lot of times an artist will ultimately get dropped from the label and they'll still owe the label a lot of money."

Chantelle Marcelle, Developing Britney Spears’ Brand: An Interview with Kim Kaiman


(Source)

 

A quote from Micheal Jackson

(FYI- I am placing this quote here solely due to its apparent relevance to the quote above, I do stand with survivors who have allegedly been abused by Micheal Jackson)

"...These artists are always on tour, because if they stop touring they would totally go broken.. record companies really do conspire against their artists, especially the black artists...

Sony.. Tommy Mottolla.... Tommy Mottolla is the president of the Record Division. He is a mean (sic), he is a racist, and he is very very very devilish."

-Micheal Jackson in 2010. (source)

 

Baby One More Mark

  • Baby One More Mark (BOMM) is a company registered in Delaware which holds the full rights to the trademarks for Britney Spears name since 2017. (source) They are represented by Lapolt Law.
    • *Artists usually trademark their names to have a sense of control and security over how their name is used.
  • While we cannot see the owner directly from the state of Delaware.... BUT *crowd gasps* this information can be found in her trademark records.(source)
  • A Change Of Address Or Representation Form (source) lists Kane as the manager of BOMM, a position previously held by Jamie Spears and Andrew Wallet according to the 2017; documents represent him as the Owner. (same doc)
  • The document above was filed by MK proposing the removal of Irene Y. Lee and replacing her with Brent D Sokol.
  • In 2017, ownership of the trademarks would be taken away from Britneys estate and moved to BOMM.Jamie Spears acted in his capacity as conservator when he did this. The document lists Andrew Wallet and Jamie Spears as managers of BOMM, without mentioning his conservator position, indicating that this company did not belong to Britney Spears' estate. (source)
  • For a list of all of the word marks active and in ownership of BOMM, and the categories they cover, check here
  • Documents state "Britney Spears is a real person who's consent is of record" however the consent on record was Jamie Spears and Andrew Wallet acting on her behalf.
  • The musical "Once Upon A One More Time" has been used as specimen to prove the trademarks are in use by BOMM. (source)
  • When Britney was allegedly forced to rehab in 2019, 'her' press statement was sent to the USPTO to show proof of reasonable nonuse (Which is the excuse of why they cant use the trademarks actively, but still need to retain ownership) (source)

The Gatekeeper Allegation

  • According to articles from 2020, Britney has claimed that her father, Jamie Spears, hired Micheal Kane to act as a gatekeeper. (source)
  • the use of BB and BOMM does, hypothetically, act as a wall between Britney the person and control over her brand and public image due to her lack of direct ownership and authority over these companies managing her name and likeness.
  • At the time of the article, Jamie was in control of Britney Brands, and presumably held onto a position of power at BOMM. At that time, ot appeared to be set up so he could retain that power even after the conservatorship ends.
  • If the trademarks die out before Kane/BOMM can renew them, she can get her trademarks back. But she would need to act quickly before someone else does.
  • Sony/RCA may be tied to Kane and BOMM; (My Glory on vinyl mentions "RCA Trademark Management"

 

Edited by mocha latto
Added Excuse nonuse & gatekeeper allegation
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The glory vinyl also mentions in Britney’s thank you note that she would like to thank tri star. I found that odd regardless of whether that was authentic or not.

anyway, so to summarize: all the merch and her name… she makes nothing off of it besides songwriting credits 

Edited by Rik vs Exhale
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4 minutes ago, Rik vs Exhale said:

The glory vinyl also mentions in Britney’s thank you note that she would like to thank tri star. I found that odd regardless of whether that was authentic or not.

Hahaha I noticed this the other day. I was like what?

Quote

anyway, so to summarize: all the merch and her name… she makes nothing off of it?

Yes, according to the docs, she does not directly benefit nor is she in direct control of these companies.

By default, from what I can see in these documents, whatever royalties gets paid out to BB goes to MK, and he decides from there what to do with it. 

(theory alert) We dont have invoices or anything like that but Im willing to bet the money is being used to pay off debt that Jamie owes to Tri-Star or That Lou And Jamie owe RCA.

 

Edited by mocha latto
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7 minutes ago, mocha latto said:

theory alert) We dont have invoices or anything like that but Im willing to bet the money is being used to pay off debt that Jamie owes to Tri-Star or That Lou And Jamie owe RCA.

:overit_leave_walk_away_catfish_get_up_bye_goodbye_out_done:  if this is true then I - capitalism is disgusting 

Edited by Rik vs Exhale
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8 hours ago, mocha latto said:

 

(theory alert) We dont have invoices or anything like that but Im willing to bet the money is being used to pay off debt that Jamie owes to Tri-Star or That Lou And Jamie owe RCA.

 


I had never considered that theory, but it's a solid one.

I doubt we could find receipts for that, but I'd be willing to bet that B's legal team has Kroll working on that right now.

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15 hours ago, mocha latto said:

A quote from Britneys former Marketing manager, Kim Kaiman

 

"..all of that money that is spent on [brand marketing] has to be paid back, which is called a recoup/recoupment. So, the artist doesn't realize that if the label spends a quarter of a million dollars on the initial marketing of [release; such as an album being released] that the artist is going to have to pay that back. And if they don't pay it back by streams or touring or by merchandising or by a brand sponsorship tie-in, they're going to be in the poor house, and a lot of times an artist will ultimately get dropped from the label and they'll still owe the label a lot of money."

Chantelle Marcelle, Developing Britney Spears’ Brand: An Interview with Kim Kaiman


(Source)


So, theoretically, if Tri Star borrowed money from Sony to launch the promo for the Domination residency, and the Domination residency didn't happen, then Tri Star would need to scramble to find the funds to pay Sony back?

And paying that back could come from things like pop-ups and Broadway shows and perfumes?

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14 hours ago, mocha latto said:

Hahaha I noticed this the other day. I was like what?

Yes, according to the docs, she does not directly benefit nor is she in direct control of these companies.

By default, from what I can see in these documents, whatever royalties gets paid out to BB goes to MK, and he decides from there what to do with it. 

(theory alert) We dont have invoices or anything like that but Im willing to bet the money is being used to pay off debt that Jamie owes to Tri-Star or That Lou And Jamie owe RCA.

 

I haven't had the time to read through this properly but I have to say thank you for compiling this and keeping the research club alive. 

I was skimming one of the uspto.report links and noticed 

Employee Name GOODMAN, WENDY BETH

"Wendy Goodman" is also the name of Dina LaPolt's wife. They are not the same person, but in determining that they are indeed, not the same, I refreshed my memory on Dina's wife's career. 

10 Questions with ... Wendy Goodman

BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
1995 - Maverick Records/Los Angeles (Intern)
1995 - Maverick Records/Los Angeles (Promotion Assistant, Rock & Alternative)
1997 - Maverick Records/Dallas, TX (Southwest Regional Promotion Manager)
1999 -2000 - C2 Records/Dallas, TX (Southwest Regional Promotion Manager)
2000-Present -- RCA Records:
2000-2004 - J Records/Dallas, TX (Southwest Regional Promotion Manager)
2004-2006- J Records/Los Angeles, CA (National Director, Adult Promotion)
2006- Present - RCA Records/Los Angeles, CA (VP Promotion, Adult Formats)

Monday, February 24, 2020: GOODMAN SAYS GOODBYE TO RCA

"Longtime RCA exec and current SVP Promotion Wendy Goodman announced in an email to label staff that she’ll be exiting her position at the end of this week, concluding a 20-year career at the label...Along with praising her years at RCA, Goodman added that she is forever grateful to Richard Palmese and Clive Davis for hiring her at J Records 20 years ago, providing her with a life-changing opportunity.

Goodman's last day at RCA will be 2/28/20."

LaPolt & Goodman's involvement in Britney's career: when did this begin? 

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Another interesting quote from Kim Kamian:

 

Quote

Do you think digital marketing channels have changed reliance on traditional distribution? Have they given artists more control over their brand and more access to their audience?

  • There’s certainly more ability by an independent artist to make it on their own. They have to be extremely ambitious, and they have to really work hard at getting themselves the right exposure that they need. And it can happen. It’s not impossible. 
  • But one thing I will say a lot of people don’t realize when they say, “Oh, I don’t need a record company. I can get my Apple Mac Pro tools and make my album on my computer and put it out and go on tour. And I’ll make the money myself, and I don’t have to split it with a record company.”

The record company has something called leverage. 

  • The record company has a roster of artists that are multi-million [album] sellers or superstar artists. Like on Atlantic. Maybe you have Coldplay or the Led Zeppelin catalog. Or Cardi B and Wiz Khalifa. Or at Universal and Republic records. They’ve got Post Malone and Taylor Swift.

    If you’re signed to that record company, and you’re a new artist that nobody knows, that record company can go to a radio station and say, “If you play that new single by my guy, Post Malone, then I’ll give you backstage passes when The Weeknd tours.” Because the Weeknd’s on Republic. So you have that leverage.

    You can use your roster of artists to promote your new and up-and-coming artists. 

    And that’s the reason why people ultimately need to still sign with record companies and why record companies still have power. 

 

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  • 7 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...
On 10/20/2023 at 1:47 PM, ColdAsFire89 said:

Reviving this thread. Is the money from the book going to Britney?!

Her book contract was signed after the conservatorship and independent of previous business. She will get the money. 

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