Originally published at Vince McMahon’s new employment agreement gives him exclusive rights over his life story
Vince McMahon’s new employment agreement with WWE grants him personally the exclusive rights to ‘convey, commercialize, license, or otherwise exploit his life story’.
Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics pointed out the clause in the agreement, which Thurston described as “extraordinary.”
The relevant part of McMahon’s new agreement states that WWE “irrevocably” assigns all rights it may have to McMahon’s image, voice, likeness, personal experiences, biography and life story, and “all other rights of publicity and persona relating to McMahon.”
The clause in McMahion’s agreement, filed with the SEC, states in full:
The Company further acknowledges and agrees that McMahon will have the exclusive right to communicate, convey, commercialize, license, or otherwise exploit his life story, including to create, develop, publish, perform, display, use, license, and otherwise exploit any content and works relating to the same, in any form or medium, whether now known or hereafter created, including without limitation any books (memoir, biography, autobiography, etc.), articles or essays, audio recordings, audiovisual works (documentary, biopic, scripted program, dramatization, fictionalization, etc.) (the “Life Story Rights”).
The Company hereby irrevocably waives (A) any right or license it may have to exercise or exploit any Life Story Rights based on rights that have vested with or been granted to the Company under applicable law or any prior agreement with McMahon, (B) any right of approval with respect to any exercise of the Life Story Rights and any embodiment thereof, and (C) any claim for breach of any covenant or undertaking of McMahon relating to confidentiality, non-disparagement, non-competition, or other restrictive covenant or affirmative undertaking binding on McMahon that results from any content, communication, or action in connection with any exercise of the Life Story Rights and any embodiments thereof.
The Company hereby grants to McMahon and his successors and assigns a non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, display, perform, and otherwise use any Works or intellectual property rights of the Company relating to McMahon’s life story in connection with any exercise of the Life Story Rights by or on behalf of McMahon and his successors and assigns and in any content or works developed based on the Life Story Rights in any form or medium, whether now known or hereafter created.
This effectively means that — even if McMahon and WWE part ways in the future — he now has sole control in licensing any works based on his life story, giving him total sway over how that story is told in officially licensed books, movies, documentaries, etc.