This US legal complaint is important for all creators and artists

Popular music and films make huge money for rights-owning corporations.
Yet, too often, the artists and creators get a raw deal from exploitation of their talent.
We want to help rebalance this equation.

Our case against Vivendi is simple, if perhaps a little shocking.

It’s been 33 years since This Is Spinal Tap was released.

Yet we, the creators, have been told that global music sales from the soundtrack album total just US$98.
We’re also, apparently, only entitled to share US$81 (between us) from global merchandising sales.

This shocks us, given Tap’s enduring popularity.

So, Vivendi – it’s not a big ask. Just show us how you’re exploiting our creative work and pay us a fair share.

#FairnessRocks

If you’re a fellow creator, the information on this site may be of interest.
The rights campaigners listed here may well be able to help you.
Good luck.

Official Media Releases

  • Plaintiffs' response to Vivendi motion 01.03.2017

    Plaintiffs' response to Vivendi motion 01.03.2017

    “Vivendi’s motion to dismiss is a sadly predictable response. Their motion does not dispute that Vivendi has paid virtually nothing to Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest and Michael McKean for This Is Spinal Tap. Yet it asserts these co-creators have no legal right, or standing, to challenge this absurdity. We disagree. Shearer, Reiner, Guest and McKean formed the group Spinal Tap Productions (STP). There's no dispute that STP, also a plaintiff, has standing to proceed. Further the creators' claims to intellectual property rights to the film and its music – both trademark and copyright – cannot be dismissed through this legal standing challenge from Vivendi."

  • Additional Plaintiffs Release 8.02.2017
    French Version

    Guest, McKean and Reiner Join Shearer's This Is Spinal Tap Fraud Suit Against Vivendi

    8 February 2017, London: Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner, co-creators of the cult-classic film This is Spinal Tap, have today formally joined fellow creator, Harry Shearer, as plaintiffs in his lawsuit against French conglomerate Vivendi S.A..

    Guest starred as the band Spinal Tap’s lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel; McKean as lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist David St Hubbins and Shearer as bassist Derek Smalls. Reiner directed the film and starred as its narrator.

    The original complaint, by Shearer’s service company Century of Progress Productions, [Case No. 2:16-cv-07733], was filed on 17 October 2016 in the Central District of California USA. The lawsuit alleges Vivendi S.A. engaged in anti-competitive and unfair business practices, as well as fraudulent accounting, directly related to its management of This Is Spinal Tap.

    With Guest, McKean and Reiner’s participation, the revised filed and served complaint now seeks US$400 (four hundred) million in compensatory and punitive damages from Vivendi, up from the US$125 million originally claimed.

    Commenting on the lawsuit, Guest said: “The deliberate obfuscation by Vivendi and its subsidiaries is an outrage. It is vital that such behavior is challenged in the strongest way possible.”

    Reiner adds: “Fair reward for artistic endeavor has long been raised by those on the wrong end of the equation. What makes this case so egregious is the prolonged and deliberate concealment of profit and the purposeful manipulation of revenue allocation between various Vivendi subsidiaries – to the detriment of the creative talent behind the band and film. Such anti-competitive practices need to be exposed. I am hoping this lawsuit goes to 11.

    This is Spinal Tap was the result of four very stubborn guys working very hard to create something new under the sun. The movie’s influence on the last three decades of film comedy is something we are very proud of. But the buck always stopped somewhere short of Rob, Harry, Chris and myself. It’s time for a reckoning. It’s only right.” commented McKean.

    Shearer welcomed his co-creators’ decision to join: “Their participation will help demonstrate the opaque and misleading conduct at the heart of this case. We’re even louder now.”

    The amended complaint, which also incorporates Spinal Tap Productions (owned in equal share by all for co-creators), as a joint plaintiff alongside the co-creators and their service companies, details Vivendi’s alleged manipulation of certain accounting data, while ignoring contractually obligated

    accounting and reporting processes, to deny the plaintiffs their rightful stake in the production’s profits.

    ENDS

    FOR A COPY OF THE AMENDED COMPLAINT CLICK HERE

    FOR PHOTOS OF ALL PLAINTIFFS CLICK HERE

    NOTES TO EDITORS

    In 1982, Reiner, Shearer, Guest, and McKean signed an agreement with Embassy Pictures, Inc. for the production, financing and distribution of This Is Spinal Tap. The agreement ensured profit participation payments, at the rate of 40 percent of net receipts, to the creators based on all sources of revenue, including merchandise and music.

    After two years of production, the film was released in 1984. It soon became a cult favourite, and its reputation as one of the 20th Century’s most enduring comedies has increased exponentially in the ensuing years. The film’s accolades include being named in the New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Greatest Movies Ever Made list, Total Film’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time list, and achieving the coveted Number One spot on Time Out London’s 100 Best Comedy Movies list. In 2002, the film’s lasting appeal led the U.S. Library of Congress to designate it as a culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant film.

    The film’s ongoing critical success was likewise matched by its financial success. It was produced on a shoestring budget of $2.25 million. The complaint alleges that This Is Spinal Tap generated millions of dollars across various revenue streams for Vivendi, its subsidiary companies, and their licensees. The music and merchandise that the film and band have spawned, earned tens of millions of dollars in revenue through re-releases, album and singles sales, merchandise sales, and distribution of the film in various formats across the globe over the course of the last 32 years. However, these profits were not fairly shared with the four co-creators, cast, or crew.

    The French conglomerate claims that the four creators’ share of total worldwide merchandising income between 1984 and 2006 was a mere $81 dollars. Likewise, total income from soundtrack music sales between 1989 and 2006 was reported by Vivendi as only $98 dollars/

    Band & Movie Background

    Although This Is Spinal Tap was first released in 1984 in US and UK (in 2000 in France) the band “Spinal Tap” was actually created in the late 1970s. The band’s rock musician characters “Nigel Tufnel” and “David St. Hubbins” were created by Christopher Guest and Michael McKean with Harry Shearer creating bassist “Derek Smalls”. Spinal Tap’s comedic sole claim to fame was as “one of England’s loudest bands”.

    Phrasing from the film’s script has entered the general lexicon (“it goes to 11”). The film continues to be shown regularly on TV home viewing around the world, is available on multiple video formats and has been supported by several album/singles releases and band tours.

    Litigation Background

    Harry Shearer’s determination to highlight the principle of fair rights to creators led him to launch the original suit. He is unafraid to take on vested interests in the entertainment industry in his pursuit of equitable treatment between the industry and its talent. He is today joined by all of his co-creators of Spinal Tap the band, and the film.

    This lawsuit will determine several key matters in respect of the exploitation rights to This Is Spinal Tap, including breach of contract, fraud and fraudulent concealment, breach of an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings and intellectual property rights. The lawsuit raises particular concerns over the anti-competitive effects of non-arms’ length transactions among Vivendi subsidiaries in managing This Is Spinal Tap. These issues are further outlined in the Complaint.

    Advisors

    Lead Litigator: Peter Haviland, Ballard Spahr (Los Angeles, CA.)

    Lead Counsel: Amanda Harcourt, Intellectual Property Consultant (UK)

  • Harry Shearer Response to Vivendi Media Statement 02.12.2016

    Harry Shearer Response to Vivendi Media Statement

    "I am surprised to read that Vivendi is unaware of my legal Complaint, filed with the US court on 17 October, and of the global success of the film, This is Spinal Tap, whose rights it owns and whose recoupment it has allegedly been calculating over the past 30 years. Listed conglomerates have a duty to be aware of all litigation in which they are referenced, no matter from where in the world they emanate.Vivendi's reaction demonstrates a worrying myopia from a media giant concerned with IP rights ownership in a global industry. Mr Ron Halpern, Vivendi's executive with responsibility for exploiting the film, his US colleagues as well as Vivendi's own legal department in Paris, will be able to inform Vivendi's board of our myriad of correspondence over the years.

    "To help familiarise itself with the issues at stake, perhaps the corporation should also take a look at www.fairnessrocks.com where the filed Legal Complaint is published and downloadable to anyone. A copy of the 18 October media release (in French) can also be downloaded. An internet search will demonstrate to Vivendi shareholders the level of public support as evidenced by the hundreds of media reports from the US West and East Coast through London and Australia since filing. It's puzzling that Vivendi considers this support, for a film whose rights it sometimes asserts as its own, as "disproportionate".

    "I think fans will be shocked at the lack of interest shown by Vivendi towards this much-revered film. Perhaps this also explains the corporation's lackadaisical approach to intellectual property rights embodied in the Spinal Tap brand. With US$125m at stake, the US court is unlikely to be so cavalier."

    Background:

    Vivendi may be unaware of TIST's unique and long-term appeal, but its popularity has not been lost on expert critics, given its inclusion in "best ever" lists such as:

    · The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made;

    · Entertainment Weekly's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time where it appeared on the "Just Too Beloved to Ignore" list;

    · the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time list published by Total Film;

    · 2011 Time Out London named the film number one on its list of The 100 Best Comedy Movies.

    the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2002 designated TIST as a culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant film.

    Unusually, the film has had two releases, several years appart. What's more, TIST still enjoys popularity on television, home video, and other media, including both a 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray DVD release in 2009 and a 30th Anniversary release in November 2014. Yet Vivendi now claims not to recognise the film's significance or popularity whilst booking over US$2.5m in undocumented "marketing and promotion expenses" years after its release. Similarly Vivendi's accounting has produced undocumented charges to "Freight and other Direct Costs" totalling over US $500,000, allegedly incurred almost twenty years after the film's initial release. It is difficult to see on what basis these charges are justified on an unpopular historic film of little import – if that is truly how Vivendi sees TIST.

    END

  • Vivendi Response 01.12.2016
  • Shearer Litigation Launch Release 17.10.2016
    French Version

    Harry Shearer, This Is Spinal Tap Co-Creator, Files Vivendi Fraud Suit

    Harry Shearer, renowned worldwide for his voicing of 23 characters on the long-running animated television series ‘The Simpsons’, has filed a comprehensive legal action in Los Angeles, California, USA.

    The lawsuit alleges the French conglomerate, Vivendi S.A., engaged in anti-competitive and unfair business practices, as well as fraudulent accounting, directly related to its management of the cult-classic film, This Is Spinal Tap.  Shearer co-created the film, co-wrote the soundtrack and starred as the Spinal Tap band’s bassist, Derek Smalls.

    According to the complaint, Vivendi and its agents, including StudioCanal and Universal Music Group, wilfully manipulated certain accounting data, while ignoring contractually-obligated accounting and reporting processes, to deny Shearer and his fellow co-creators their rightful stake in the production’s profits. The action seeks US$125,000,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

    As a StudioCanal executive with personal responsibility for exploitation of the film and band, Ron Halpern is named as a co-defendant in the claim.  Halpern is based in Paris.

    “Almost 40 years ago, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Rob Reiner and I created the somewhat legendary band Spinal Tap,” said Shearer. “We thought there was something real and really funny about the characters, and between that inception and the theatrical release of This Is Spinal Tap in 1984, we poured ourselves into nurturing and perfecting the paean to rock loudness that has entertained so many people, even today. But despite the widespread success of the film and its music, we’ve fallen victim to the same sort of fuzzy and falsified entertainment industry accounting schemes that have bedevilled so many other creators. In this instance, the fraud and negligence were just too egregious to ignore.  Also, this time, it was personal.”

    In 1982, Reiner, Shearer, Guest, and McKean – signed an agreement with Embassy Pictures, Inc. for the production, financing and distribution of This Is Spinal Tap. The agreement ensured profit participation payments, at the rate of 40 percent of net receipts, to the creators based on all sources of revenue, including merchandise and music.

    After two years of production, the film was released in 1984. It soon became a cult favourite and its reputation as one of the 20th Century’s most enduring comedies has increased exponentially in the ensuing years. The film’s accolades include being named in the New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Greatest Movies Ever Made list, Total Film’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time list, and achieving the coveted Number One spot on Time Out London’s 100 Best Comedy Movies list. In 2002, the film’s lasting appeal led the US Library of Congress (the world’s largest cultural collection), to designate it as a culturally, historically or aesthetically significant film.

    The film’s ongoing critical success was likewise matched by its financial success. It was produced on a shoestring budget of US$2.25 million. Yet This Is Spinal Tap and the music and merchandise that it and the band have spawned, earned tens of millions of dollars in revenue, according to the complaint – through re-releases, album and singles sales, merchandise sales, and distribution of the film in various formats, across the globe over the course of the last 32 years.  However, these profits were not fairly shared with the four co-creators, cast or crew.

    When Vivendi acquired the rights to This Is Spinal Tap in 1989, through its subsidiary Canal, the lawsuit alleges it began a concerted and fraudulent campaign to hide, or grossly underreport, the film’s revenues in order to avoid its profit participation obligations. Vivendi’s financial reporting of income has been woefully inconsistent at best. Performance of its duties to the film’s creators dropped off entirely from 2014, the 30th anniversary of the film’s initial theatrical release. In the past two years, Vivendi has altogether failed to produce an account of any Tap revenue, according to the complaint.

    The complaint alleges that This Is Spinal Tap has generated millions of dollars, across various revenue streams, for Vivendi, its subsidiary companies and their licensees. The French conglomerate asserts that the four creators’ share of total worldwide merchandising income between 1984 and 2006 was US$81 dollars. Between 1989 and 2006, total income from soundtrack music sales was reported by Vivendi as US$98 dollars, according to the complaint.

    “This is a simple issue of artists’ rights,” added Shearer. “It is stunning that after all this time, two cinema releases, all the various home video format releases, all the records and CDs, and all the band-themed merchandise still widely available worldwide, the only people who haven’t shared Spinal Tap’s success are those who formed the band and created the film in the first place.”

    “Vivendi and its subsidiaries – which own the rights to thousands and thousands of creative works – have, at least in our case, conducted blatantly unfair business practices,” Shearer continued. “But I wouldn’t be surprised if our example were the tip of the iceberg.  Though I’ve launched this lawsuit on my own, it is in reality a challenge to the company on behalf of all creators of popular films whose talent has not been fairly remunerated. I am just one person seeking redress for blatant injustice, but I hope this lawsuit will, in its own way, help set a new precedent for faithful and transparent accounting practices, and fair artistic compensation, industry-wide.”

    ENDS

     

    NOTES TO EDITORS

     

    Band & Movie Background


    Although This Is Spinal Tap was first released in 1984 in US and UK (in 2000 in France) the band “Spinal Tap” was actually created in the late 1970s. The band’s rock musician characters “Nigel Tufnel” and “David St. Hubbins” were created by Christopher Guest and Michael McKean with Harry Shearer creating bassist “Derek Smalls”.  Spinal Tap’s comedic sole claim to fame was as “one of England’s loudest bands”.

    Phrasing from the film’s script has entered the general lexicon (“it goes to 11”) as exemplified by the Tesla car, whose audio system’s volume control goes to 11, as does that of the BBC’s iPlayer.

    The film continues to be shown regularly on TV home viewing around the world, is available on multiple video formats and has been supported by several album/ singles releases and band tours.  Yet, apparently, the film took 27 years to recoup.

     

    Litigation Background


    Mr Shearer has been frustrated by the difficulty in receiving a clear picture from the Vivendi group as to the revenues due from each of the various income streams – including merchandising and music sales – and by the Group’s accounting methods.  He is determined to highlight the principle of fair rights to creators.  He is unafraid to take on vested interests in the entertainment industry in his pursuit of equitable treatment between the industry and its talent.

    This lawsuit will determine several key matters in respect of the exploitation rights to This Is Spinal Tap, including breach of contract, fraud and fraudulent concealment, breach of an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings and the lawfulness or otherwise of practices indulged in by a media player with market dominance.  The lawsuit raises particular concerns over the anti-competitive effects of non-arms’ length transactions among Vivendi subsidiaries in managing This Is Spinal Tap. These issues are further outlined in the Complaint.

    Mr Shearer has filed his litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, through his trial counsel, Peter Haviland, Managing Partner of the Los Angeles office of U.S. firm Ballard Spahr.

    press-release-web-pdf



Key Factual Charges From Complaint

group

Fact 1

In 1982 Embassy Pictures (later acquired by Canal/Vivendi) signed an agreement with the Spinal Tap creators to provide regular Participation Statements. These detail the income received from all sources set against the costs of production/administration. This is key to any artist or creator in the entertainment business looking to understand their royalty payments.

Despite repeated requests from Shearer's business management team, he has still not been provided with the complete record of Participation Statements. Over the last two years, Vivendi and Canal have failed to account at all.

In 2013, in anticipation of This Is Spinal Tap (TIST)'s 30th Anniversary, Harry Shearer commissioned a study of the accounting statements and revenue streams associated with TIST. By November it was ready.

group

Fact 2

It is clear from the study that media giant Vivendi has an interest in many of the companies exploiting TIST right along the value chain. This has enabled a blurring of revenue and cost allocation between different film (StudioCanal) and music (Universal Music Group) subsidiaries.

It appeared Vivendi had wilfully concealed and manipulated years of accountings to retain monies due to the film’s creators. The failure to provide accounting and the gaps in statements coincided with the years where activity would have enhanced revenue.

Millions of dollars in undocumented marketing and promotional expenses were allegedly incurred years after release, as were undocumented charges for "freight and other direct costs". All this, almost 20 years after the film's initial launch.

According to Vivendi, TIST took 27 years to recoup.

group

Fact 3

The creators have always been entitled to revenues from sale of TIST merchandise. But according to Vivendi accounting, no merchandise revenue has been generated worldwide in over 20 years.

Shearer's representatives have informed Canal on numerous occasions of the existence of unlicensed items using the trademark or third party products branded in association with the film/band. Thousands of TIST-branded items are offered for sale online.

Harry discovered that not only has Canal failed to enforce the trademarks, it had actually abandoned its registrations in 2011. Yet Canal still claims rights against the creators if they want to use the Spinal Tap name. Harry has now filed trademark applications to reclaim creative rights to use the names "Spinal Tap" and "Derek Smalls" without interference from Vivendi.

Timeline of events

  • 1978

    Christopher Guest & Michael McKean create Nigel Tufnel and David St Hubbins, English musicians. Harry Shearer joins them as Derek Smalls. The band is named "Spinal Tap".

  • July 1979

    Spinal Tap appears in a pilot called “The TV Show” which lampooned many television formats. It is broadcast on ABC. Rob Reiner was executive producer and Harry Shearer produced the show.

  • 1979

    Spinal Tap writes 7 songs and records them in an LA studio. The band performs these songs at gigs at LA’s Whiskey & The Central (both on Sunset Strip) and at a club in Orange County.

  • 1980

    Spinal Tap and Rob Reiner produce a 20 minute 'proof of concept' film they called “The Last Tour” which was eventually picked up by independent film studio Embassy Pictures who offered the creators a deal.

  • 6 May 1982

    The production company, Spinal Tap Productions, is formed with all four creators (Guest, McKean, Shearer and Reiner) as Principals having equal shares in the company and all revenues arising from the company’s creations.

  • 7 May 1982

    Spinal Tap Productions signs a production and distribution agreement with Embassy Pictures to produce the motion picture “This Is Spinal Tap” incorporating the pre-existing characters, situations and the songs. Under the terms of the Agreement, STP and its Principals were to receive both fixed, deferred and contingent compensation for their services in the form of profit participation payments based on all sources of revenue, including merchandise and music.


  • 2 March 1984

    The film, "This Is Spinal Tap", is released on 3 screens in US cinemas.

  • 3 May 1984

    This Is Spinal Tap is released in a London cinema, opening in other UK cinemas the following day.

  • 1984

    Spinal Tap: The Original Soundtrack Recording from the Motion Picture This Is Spinal Tap is released by Polydor.

  • 1985

    Theatrical (cinema) releases by now in Brasil, Germany, Norway, Finland, Australia, Norway, Hong Kong, Italy. The title and the film itself has by now been translated into at least 19 languages.


  • 18 June 1985

    Embassy Pictures sold to Coca Cola for US$485 million.

  • 1986

    Coca Cola divides Embassy Pictures' assets and sells the theatrical division to De Laurentis Entertainment Group. Home video is sold to Nelson Entertainment.

  • 1989

    De Laurentis Entertainment Group files for bankruptcy and certain of its rights in This Is Spinal Tap are sold to Parafrance. Parafrance is a subsidiary of L’Oreal which later transfers certain rights to StudioCanal - a subsidiary of French media conglomerate Vivendi.

  • 1989

    Re-make rights are sold during the De Laurentis Entertainment Group bankruptcy to Lloyd Ivan Miller Productions LLC and continue to be managed on behalf of LIMP by Carolco Pictures in LA. Yet Canal has purported to license re-make rights when ownership is vested elsewhere.

  • 1991

    New Line Home Video buys Nelson Entertainment catalogue for US$15 million. These video rights subsequently passed to MGM, now part of Sony Music Entertainment.

  • 1992

    June: The first single, The Majesty of Rock, is released by MCA from the follow up album Break Like the Wind. The single, Bitch School, follows then the album. Release of Home Video – Return of Spinal Tap.


  • 1992-2008

    Numerous film, video and music releases in USA and Europe. The band invited to appear in advertising around the 1996 Olympics and in TV commercials.

    In 2007, the band plays UK’s Wembley Stadium for the Live Earth global warming charity event.

  • 2009

    The band plays Glastonbury Festival in the UK. Back from the Dead CD & DVD re-released by Essential. The band also appeared and performed on 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart'.
    Release of the so-called Marshall Amp edition on BluRay from Optimum.
    Up to 11 25th Anniversary Editon from Optiumum DVD & BluRay
    Release of BluRay disc from ArtHaus.

  • 2010

    Audio visual use licenses are granted for the songs Big Bottom, Gimme Some Money and Cups and Cakes, Heavy Duty, Hellhole, Sex Farm, Stonehenge and Tonight I am Gonna Rock You, Tonight.

  • 2012

    Rialto appointed to manage US theatrical (cinema) and non-theatrical distribution. Rialto is a distribution company co-founded by Adrienne Halpern, the sister of Vivendi/StudioCanal’s Ron Halpern.

  • 2012-2016

    Harry Shearer's representatives alert Canal to numerous trademark infringements and unlicensed merchandise products, varying from 'This is Spinal Tape' to "Dobly Sound" and McDonalds' "Our taste goes to 11" by way of examples. No meaningful action is taken by Canal to uphold the IP rights.



News

  • ‘Spinal Tap’ Stars Blasted for ‘Absurdly’ Filed $400 Million Lawsuitmore_vert

    Orignally posted by: The Wrap

    Read more

    ‘Spinal Tap’ Stars Blasted for ‘Absurdly’ Filed $400 Million Lawsuitclose

    The 1984 film “This Is Spinal Tap” might be a beloved cult classic, but it was far from a blockbuster. At least that’s the assertion in a new filing relating to the $400 million lawsuit revolving around the movie. In papers filed Tuesday, Vivendi and Studiocanal say that “Spinal Tap” stars Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, … Continue reading "‘Spinal Tap’ Stars Blasted for ‘Absurdly’ Filed $400 Million Lawsuit"

  • ‘Spinal Tap’ Defendants File Motion To Dismiss Lawsuitmore_vert

    Orignally posted by: WROR

    Read more

    ‘Spinal Tap’ Defendants File Motion To Dismiss Lawsuitclose

    French media giant Vivendi SA blasted back Tuesday at a lawsuit claiming it underpaid royalties for the cult classic “This Is Spinal Tap,” calling the suit’s demand of $400 million in damages “absurd.” The studio’s filing in California federal court came in the form of a limited motion seeking to dismiss the movie’s actors — … Continue reading "‘Spinal Tap’ Defendants File Motion To Dismiss Lawsuit"

  • Vivendi Calls $400M ‘Spinal Tap’ Royalties Claim ‘Absurd’more_vert

    Orignally posted by: LAW 360

    Read more

    Vivendi Calls $400M ‘Spinal Tap’ Royalties Claim ‘Absurd’close

    French media giant Vivendi SA blasted back Tuesday at a lawsuit claiming it underpaid royalties for the cult classic “This Is Spinal Tap,” calling the suit’s demand of $400 million in damages “absurd.” The studio’s filing in California federal court came in the form of a limited motion seeking to dismiss the movie’s actors — … Continue reading "Vivendi Calls $400M ‘Spinal Tap’ Royalties Claim ‘Absurd’"

  • Media company bosses seek dismissal of £320 million Spinal Tap lawsuitmore_vert

    Orignally posted by: THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

    Read more

    Media company bosses seek dismissal of £320 million Spinal Tap lawsuitclose

    Forget an 11. This one is now up to at least 18. Earlier this month, This Is Spinal Tap co-creators Christopher Guest and Michael McKean, along with the 1984 film’s director Rob Reiner, joined Harry Shearer in a lawsuit that alleges they’ve been denied as much as $400 million in contingent compensation from Vivendi and … Continue reading "Media company bosses seek dismissal of £320 million Spinal Tap lawsuit"

  • Media company bosses seek dismissal of $400 million Spinal Tap lawsuitmore_vert

    Orignally posted by: XPOSE

    Read more

    Media company bosses seek dismissal of $400 million Spinal Tap lawsuitclose

    In October (16) Harry Shearer, who played bassist Derek Smalls in the beloved 1984 spoof rockumentary This Is Spinal Tap filed a lawsuit alleging Vivendi bosses had cheated him and the film’s co-creators out of its profits, seeking $125 million (£100 million).   Last month (Feb17) the film’s director Rob Reiner and Harry’s co-stars Christopher … Continue reading "Media company bosses seek dismissal of $400 million Spinal Tap lawsuit"

  • Vivendi seeks dismissal of Spinal Tap’s $400 million lawsuitmore_vert

    Orignally posted by: METAL INDSIDER

    Read more

    Vivendi seeks dismissal of Spinal Tap’s $400 million lawsuitclose

    Last year, Harry Shearer filed a lawsuit against Vivendi Universal about This is Spinal Tap, a classic 1984 film that started the mockumentary genre that’s continued on to this day. And while there have been plenty of lawsuits against movie studios or record labels, the lawsuit alleged that Shearer and co-creators Christopher Guest and Michael … Continue reading "Vivendi seeks dismissal of Spinal Tap’s $400 million lawsuit"

  • Vivendi says $400 million Spinal Tap legal claim “absurd”more_vert

    Orignally posted by: Complete Music Update

    Read more

    Vivendi says $400 million Spinal Tap legal claim “absurd”close

    Universal Music owner Vivendi would like everyone to know that it has “genuine admiration for the talents of Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner”. But all things considered, the company would prefer it if all four creators of ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ would just fuck off and die. Well, I’m paraphrasing slightly. … Continue reading "Vivendi says $400 million Spinal Tap legal claim “absurd”"

  • “Spinal Tap” Owners Demand Dismissal of $400 Million Lawsuitmore_vert

    Orignally posted by: JD JOURNAL

    Read more

    “Spinal Tap” Owners Demand Dismissal of $400 Million Lawsuitclose

    Vivendi is cranking their lawsuit up to an 11. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the owner of “This Is Spinal Tap” has fought back against the $400 lawsuit filed by the cult movie’s creators and stars. The media conglomerate asked for the lawsuit to be thrown out, stating that the plaintiffs have no rights to their work-for-hire … Continue reading "“Spinal Tap” Owners Demand Dismissal of $400 Million Lawsuit"

  • ‘Spinal Tap’ owners attempt to get creators’ $400M suit tossedmore_vert

    Orignally posted by: NEW YORK POST

    Read more

    ‘Spinal Tap’ owners attempt to get creators’ $400M suit tossedclose

    The foursome behind the “Spinal Tap” mockumentary — Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner — should have the volume of their $400 million suit against Vivendi turned down to zero, the company said on Wednesday.   Vivendi’s StudioCanal unit, which owns the movie, asked a judge to toss the suit. The four filed suit … Continue reading "‘Spinal Tap’ owners attempt to get creators’ $400M suit tossed"

  • VIVENDI MOVES TO DISMISS ‘TAP’ SUITmore_vert

    Orignally posted by: Pollstar

    Read more

    VIVENDI MOVES TO DISMISS ‘TAP’ SUITclose

    Vivendi S.A. and Studiocanal say they have “genuine admiration” for “This Is Spinal Tap” stars Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner, but their $400 million claim for damages is “absurd” and they should be dismissed from their own suit.   The companies moved to dismiss the comedians in a Feb. 28 U.S. District … Continue reading "VIVENDI MOVES TO DISMISS ‘TAP’ SUIT"

Media Contacts

Artists and creators looking for support should contact the relevant rights campaigners listed here
Continental Europe:

Aria Partners

Paris, 75008

Jean de Belot
Jdebelot@aria-partners.com
Alexandre.levy@aria-partners.com
Violaine.naud@aria-partners.com



Office +33 6 07 41 58 52
Mobile: +33 1 56 33 70 64

UK:

Bell Yard Communications

London, EC4

Melanie Riley
Louise Beeson
Sarah Peters
BellYard@bell-yard.com



Office: +44 20 7936 2021
Mobile: +44 7775 591244

US:

Levick

Washington DC

Ian McCaleb - Director
Bryant Madden
Mona Amin
imccaleb@levick.com
bmadden@levick.com
mona.amin@levick.com

Office: +1 202 973 5303
Cell: +1 202 779 0587

US:

LA Team

Los Angeles

Seth Jacobson
seth@jcipr.com





Cell: +1 310 592 3900

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