It hit the news this week that the Weinsteins are suing Time Warner over the Hobbit novels. Their deal gave them revenue on ‘the film’ but didn’t allow for the possibility of the book being dramatized as three films:
Is this rough justice, holding them to a contract that everyone agreed, or should allowances be made for a change of circumstance? This is one of the issues that keeps me awake at night: the contracts I advise my clients on can only be based on the information available at the time. You try and provide for anything that might happen in the future, but you can never foresee everything.
This counterpoints with an interesting ruling about behaving fairly over contracts, where there’s a relationship involved:
In a sense, it’s also a bit scary to wonder who’s going to rule whether we’ve acted in good faith, but if this means shark-like behaviour is lessened, even agents (as proverbial sharks) must welcome it.