Malcolm X’s Family Sues Chicago-based Publisher of His Diary + Lessons for Your Biz.

post

So, a current hot copyright infringement legal dispute involves Malcolm X’s family and Chicago’s Third World Press. Third World Press purchased the rights from X Legacy, LLC. (Malcom X’s estate) to publish his diary, set to release late November.

The family filed a suit alleging that Third World Press did not have authority to publish Malcolm X’s diary.

I know you are thinking…so, did they just jack the diary?

No, Third World Press didn’t jack it. They had a written agreement purchasing the rights, signed by Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Al-Shabazz, a co-editor of the book. The family is saying that Ilysah didn’t have the authority to sell the rights, and act alone. There are several other living children. The family requested and the Court awarded, a Temporary Restraining Order. The books cannot be sold or distributed until January 31, after a preliminary injunction hearing. Depending on the outcome, the publisher may have to wait until the case ends before they release the book (if they win of course).

Let’s talk business + what this means for you.

According to the Tribune, 

Johnson [of Third World Press] said the publisher’s attorneys want to view X Legacy’s operational agreement to try to understand “who owns what and who has the authority to do what…He added that the operational agreement was not included in the documents attached to the lawsuit and that Al-Shabazz also has not produced it.”

[Tweet “As a small business owner, it’s so easy to get caught into the doing part of your biz”] that you forget to tend to some of the things that aren’t as pressing at the moment. Why? Because the clients get priority over our own affairs.

Are you guilty? Raise your hand. *slowly raising mine*

An operating agreement (referred to in the Tribune as an operational agreement) is the bible of a Limited Liability Company (LLC). It addresses important issues such as

  • Who has management rights in the company? 
  • What are the limits on their authority?
  • What situations require approval by other members and what does that approval look like? For example,  is it a majority or unanimous vote.

The operating agreement is critical for all LLCs, even when there is one member (owner). Beyond it being your Business Bible it is one thing that demonstrates you are running an actual business. What do I mean by that? Before you set up the business. It was just you. Once you created the business, it’s you (the individual) and your business (the entity). You are not your business, you are a component of it. The operating agreement defines your role as the member (owner) and your duty to the business.

Do you have an operating agreement for your LLC? If you don’t, it needs to be a priority.

You can read the full scoop at the Chicago Tribune‘s website.

Photo Credit: Steve Mohundro (smohundro)

Leave a reply