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Thursday May 3, 2012 7:06 pm

Courtney Love Loses Kurt Cobain Image Rights




Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Music, Legal Issues

Courtney Love and Kurt CobainCourtney Love no longer has control of Kurt Cobain's image rights.

The Hole frontwoman agreed to hand over the rights to her late Nirvana singer husband's name, likeness and appearance to their daughter Frances Bean Cobain, 19, in 2010, documents obtained by website The Fix have revealed.

The documents show that Courtney agreed to step down as Acting Manager of End of Music (EOM) LLC - the business responsible for generating cash from the rocker's publicity rights - after she received a $2.75 million loan from her daughter's trust fund. The money was transferred to EOM and then put into an account in Courtney's then-attorney's name. Until the loan is paid back, Courtney won't receive any money from the deals related to Kurt that have been formed by Frances and her advisors since December 2010, which means she could lose out on a fortune.

"Publicity rights are potentially worth a fortune. They amount to the intellectual property rights," said Jonathan Faber, an attorney and managing partner of Luminary Group, who once represented Kurt's estate in policing copyright infringement and investigating licensing opportunities.

Under the deal, Frances has the final say in business agreements negotiated by EOM's current acting manager, David Byrnes, and Courtney remains a company member, though she has no decision-making power.

Courtney lost legal custody of her artist daughter in 2009 and was subsequently ousted as an adviser on Frances' trust fund. Additionally, the "Malibu" hitmaker doesn't have any rights to Kurt's music. The BMI catalog shows Larry Mestel, of Primary Wave Music, owns all of the administrative rights, and so is the only person with the power to decide how the rocker's songs are used. It is also believed Mr. Mestel owns 50 per cent of Kurt's publishing rights, but he has refused to confirm or deny the figure.

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