CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED and EIGHTY-FOUR
“I thought you’d say that,” Schmidty said. “Is electronic all right?”
The lawyer for the record company blinked at Schmidty. Schmidty gave him another sweet smile.
“Sure,” the lawyer for the record company said.
“Tell you what,” Schmidty opened his laptop. “How ‘bout I email them to you?”
“I still own Jeraine,” the lawyer for the record company said.
“Actually,” the movie studio lawyer said. “You obtained the song illegally…”
“My song,” the Director’s head jerked to look at the movie studio’s lawyer. He pointed at the lawyer for the record studio. “He stole MY SONG!”
“Yes,” the movie studio’s lawyer sounded like he was speaking to a child. “He did.”
“I own everything O’Malley creates,” the Director said. “Everything. That means I own everything Bumpy and Jeraine create.”
“Different contracts,” Schmidty said.
“We only care about what our talent creates,” the woman near the windows said. “And they created this song.”
“Which means your contract with Jeraine expired,” Schmidty said.
“We’d happily take you to court over this,” the executive-producer who hadn’t spoken yet said. “But it sounds like you’ll have plenty to do defending your employees.”
“They don’t take cyber crime lightly inDenver,” Schmidty said. “And this is a slam dunk – motive, opportunity, the whole nine.”
Schmidty sat a little straighter. Since he worked with Seth, he felt like he was 1:1000th cop.
“We’ll file for copyright infringement, of course,” the movie studio lawyer said.
“At the very least!” the Director said. “We should file for emotional duress and…”
“What is it you’d like me to do?” the record company’s lawyer asked.
“Retract the song,” the movie studio’s lawyer said.
“Let people know there was some confusion and that the song is for our movie,” the executive-producer sitting behind Seth said.
“Officially release Jeraine from his contract,” Schmidty said.
“We’ll file for copyright infringement,” the movie studio’s lawyer said.
“Theft of intellectual property,” the executive producer near the windows said. “Harassment of our talent. We’ll request punitive damages for slowing production of the film due to your employees… what was the word he used?’
“Overzealous,” the executive producer sitting next to the door said.
“Yes, over-zealousness,” the woman’s harsh New York accent accentuated every syllable.
“And emotional duress,” the Director said. “I spoke with O’Malley. He’s so upset about this he’s talking about needing time to recover.”
“We pay for the Orchestra and the space whether they work or not,” the executive producer said. “We’ll need reimbursement for that too.”
“We’ll consider it,” the record company’s lawyer said.
His voice was neutral but the tension in the room remained high. Standing, Schmidty held out his hand for the lawyer to shake. The lawyer just looked at his hand. Schmidty chuckled.
“We’ll see ourselves out,” the movie studio’s lawyer said.
They filed out of the office leaving the record studio’s lawyer at his desk. They were in the elevator before Schmidty started to laugh.
“Emotional duress?” Schmidty laughed.
“I’m sensitive,” the Director laughed.
“I’ll tell you James Schmidt the Fifth,” the executive-producer fromNew Yorksaid. “You have balls of steel. I don’t think even your father could have pulled that off. Do you have the contracts?”
“I will,” Schmidty shook his head.
“We have our song, right?” the Director asked.
“If this works, it’s all yours,” Schmidty said.
The movie people clapped.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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