There are certain contract terms that come up regularly in music and entertainment contracts and people often ask me what these common terms mean. One of the most common is the phrase “in perpetuity.” According to Black’s Law Dictionary, the definition of “in perpetuity” is “… that a thing is forever or for all time.”
In practice, the phrase “in perpetuity” usually applies to a transfer of rights or clauses that survive contract termination. For example, under a contract you might grant the rights to use your name and likeness in perpetuity, meaning that the company to which you granted those rights can use your name and likeness forever.
This phrase is also used in situations where certain contract clauses will survive termination of the contract. Contracts usually have an agreed upon term length, upon which the contract terminates after that duration has passed. For example, a contract might have a term of two or three years after which the contract ends and the parties stop working together. However, there may be other clauses within the contract – maybe a non-disclosure clause — that the parties have to abide by forever even though the actual term of the agreement is over and the parties are no longer working together. There are other clauses that are often stipulated to survive the contract term, however, they are mostly part of the “boilerplate” sections of the contract.
I’ll be doing more of the short articles explaining a few other common contract terms. If you like it please leave a comment below letting me know.
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