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Peggy Lee Lawsuit

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The 1952 agreement states that Lee retained the right to residual payments at 12.5% for such items as phonographic recordings sold to the public. The videocassettes were sold to the public and according to Peggy Lee, the contract allows her to be paid 12.5 % of the profits. Disney on the other hand, retained all rights to revenues earned from distributing the movie hence Peggy Lee is not entitled to 12.5% of revenue earned from distribution either locally or internationally. To distribute the movie is to sell the fil and Peggy Lee is entitled to 12.5% of the revenue earned for her voice acting as she wrote six songs, sang three, and was the voice for four characters in the film. Peggy Lee is entitled to a12.5% of total profits.


Invasion Of privacy. The California Civil Code § 3344 states that Any person who knowingly uses another's name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness, in any manner, on or in products, merchandise, or goods, or for purposes of advertising or selling, or soliciting purchases of, products, merchandise, goods or services, without such person's prior consent …shall be liable for any damages sustained by the person or persons injured as a result thereof. Disney used Peggy Lee’s publicity to advertise for the lady and the tramp without her prior consent. This is unwarranted intrusion and exploitation of lees public image and the Disney is responsible for this damage. Disney denies these allegations arguing that the contract gave Disney the right to distribute the film and Peggy Lee agreed to this by signing the contract and therefore Lee was only entitled to residual payments which amount to $381,000. According to the contract, Disney retained all rights to revenues earned from distributing the movie to theatres and television broadcasting companies but the contract doesn’t provide for Disney using Lee’s voice to advertise. Disney invaded her privacy as her publicity was used without her prior consent.


Disney argued that it has been its custom, practice, and usage of declining to give voice performers participation deals. This sheds a whole new light in interpretation of each party’s intent. Disney entered into this contract clearly expecting that Peggy Lee understood the way they did business. The testimony of Roy Disney, Cheech Marin and Jodi Benson showed that Disney did not give profit participation deals to voice actors. This was the clear intent of Disney when signing the agreement. The meaning of the contract is determined by objective manifestations of the parties' intent, including the words used in the agreement, as well as extrinsic evidence of such objective matters as the surrounding circumstances under which the parties negotiated or entered into the contract, the object, nature and subject matter of



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