The Terminator Comes to Hollywood to Destroy Old Copyright Grants

From a mockumentary classic to an Oscar-winning best picture, studios are fighting to hold onto properties from hungry authors.
In James Cameron’s sci-fi classic, The Terminator, a cyborg is sent back in time to assassinate. Something similar is playing out in Hollywood at the moment thanks to a mid-1970s change to copyright law that allows authors or their heirs to terminate a copyright grant. And like the film, there’s resistance.

Read more:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/terminator-comes-hollywood-destroy-copyright-grants-989967

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    SOURCE: Hollywood Reporter

    Date: March 30, 2017

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  • ‘Spinal Tap’ Actors Blast Studio’s ‘Threat’ In Royalty Row

    By Melissa Daniels

    Law360, Los Angeles (March 30, 2017, 6:48 PM EDT) — The co-creators of “This Is Spinal Tap” on Wednesday defended their right to bring a $400 million royalty suit against Vivendi SA, in the process calling out the French media giant for a “grossly inappropriate litigation threat” against actor Harry Shearer.

    Shearer and the other stars of the movie are suing Vivendi in California federal court over hundreds of millions of dollars in allegedly unpaid royalties connected to merchandise, soundtracks and the film itself. Shearer has also said he filed a so-called termination notice to regain…

    Read more:
    https://www.law360.com/ip/articles/908080/-spinal-tap-actors-blast-studio-s-threat-in-royalty-row

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    SOURCE: Law 360

    Date: March 30, 2017

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  • ‘Spinal Tap’ creators fire back at current owners in court

    The creators of “Spinal Tap” have turned the legal volume up to 11 in an effort to advance their $400 million suit against the movie’s current owner.

    In pleadings filed on Wednesday, Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner derided a legal threat in Los Angeles federal court by Vivendi, which came to own the 1984 rock parody after a series of transactions, as “grossly inappropriate” and “legally irrelevant.”

    Read more:
    http://nypost.com/2017/03/30/spinal-tap-creators-fire-back-at-current-owners-in-court/

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    SOURCE: The New York Post

    Date: March 30, 2017

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  • Spinal Tap creators hit out at Vivendi’s “distracting and obfuscatory conduct”

    The creators of ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ have responded to Vivendi’s response to their $400 million lawsuit, mainly focusing on the termination right element of the case.

    Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner all accuse Vivendi – which controls the ‘Spinal Tap’ movie via its StudioCanal business and the soundtrack via Universal Music – of misreporting financial information about the cult film and its spin offs in order to short-change the four creators who had a profit-share arrangement with the original producer.

    Read more:
    http://www.completemusicupdate.com/article/spinal-tap-creators-hit-out-at-vivendis-distracting-and-obfuscatory-conduct/

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    SOURCE: Complete Music Update

    Date: March 30, 2017

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  • Spinal Tap creators respond to ‘grossly inappropriate” claim their lawsuit should be thrown out

    This Is Spinal Tap co-creators Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner have responded to Vivendi’s claim that their lawsuit should be thrown out, describing the French company’s behaviour as “grossly inappropriate”.

    The original complaint, made by Shearer’s service company Century of Progress Productions [Case No. 2:16-cv-07733] was filed on October 17 2016. It alleges that Vivendi SA ‘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 official involvement, the revised suit now seeks US$400 million in compensatory and punitive damages, up from the US$125m originally claimed.

    Read more:
    http://www.musicweek.com/media/read/spinal-tap-creators-respond-to-grossly-inappropriate-claim-their-lawsuit-should-be-thrown-out/068013

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    SOURCE: Music Week

    Date: March 30, 2017

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

    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, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner should be dropped from the suit, because they lack the standing to file a claim.

    While expressing “genuine admiration for the talents” of Shearer, et al, Tuesday’s motion to dismiss claims that they don’t “have any right to file this lawsuit, nor any basis to hurl its irresponsible and untrue accusations against defendants.”

    Read more:
    http://www.thewrap.com/spinal-tap-stars-blasted-for-absurdly-filed-400-million-lawsuit/

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    SOURCE: The Wrap

    Date: March 3, 2017

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  • ‘Spinal Tap’ Defendants File Motion To Dismiss Lawsuit

    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 — Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Rob Reiner and Michael McKean — as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, but Vivendi didn’t exactly hold back on what it thinks about the case as a whole.

    “Plaintiffs may not like the fact that they have not received anything close to the $400 million in contingent compensation that their complaint absurdly claims they should have received,” the media giant wrote. “But that is only because the movie they made has not generated anywhere near the revenue necessary to pay them anything close to that sum.”

    Read more:
    http://wror.com/2017/03/01/spinal-tap-defendants-file-motion-dismiss-lawsuit/

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    SOURCE: WROR

    Date: March 3, 2017

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

    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 — Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Rob Reiner and Michael McKean — as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, but Vivendi didn’t exactly hold back on what it thinks about the case as a whole.

    “Plaintiffs may not like the fact that they have not received anything close to the $400 million in contingent compensation that their complaint absurdly claims they should have received,” the media giant wrote. “But that is only because the movie they made has not generated anywhere near the revenue necessary to pay them anything close to that sum.”

    Read more:
    https://www.law360.com/california/articles/896716/vivendi-calls-400m-spinal-tap-royalties-claim-absurd-

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    SOURCE: LAW 360

    Date: March 3, 2017

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  • Vivendi Demands Spinal Tap Members Be Ousted From Lawsuit “Absurdly” Claiming $400M in Damages

    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 StudioCanal.

    On Tuesday, the defendants filed a scathing motion to dismiss, presenting an issue — standing — we highlighted in our earlier story.

    Read more:
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/vivendi-demands-spinal-tap-members-be-ousted-lawsuit-absurdly-claiming-400m-damages-981572

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    SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter

    Date: March 3, 2017

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

    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 Guest and Michael McKean joined the lawsuit, bumping up the amount claimed to $400 million.

     

    Lawyers for the French media conglomerate, who own the rights to the film via their subsidiary StudioCanal, filed court papers on Tuesday (28Feb17), asking a California federal court judge to dismiss the case.

    Read more:
    http://www.tv3.ie/xpose/article/entertainment-news/232680/Media-company-bosses-seek-dismissal-of-400-million-Spinal-Tap-lawsuit

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    SOURCE: Xposé

    Date: March 3, 2017

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

    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 McKean made only $81 in merchandising income in between 1984 and 2006, and soundtrack sales only netted them $98 in between 1989 and 2006. That’s preposterous, and the website Shearer set up fairnessrocks.com, laid out his reasoning, stating that they’d been denied as much as $400 million from Vivendi and StudiooCanalLast month, Guest, Mckean and the film’s director Rob Reiner joined in on the lawsuit.

    Read more:
    http://www.metalinsider.net/legal-woes/vivendi-seeks-dismissal-of-spinal-taps-400-million-lawsuit

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    SOURCE: Metal Insider

    Date: March 3, 2017

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

    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. Slightly.

     

    Vivendi has responded to the litigation being pursued by the four Spinal Tap men, who accuse the entertainment firm’s movie business StudioCanal of “wilfully manipulated certain accounting data, while ignoring contractually-obligated accounting and reporting processes, to deny [the] co-creators their rightful stake in the production’s profits”.

    Read more:
    http://www.completemusicupdate.com/article/vivendi-says-400-million-spinal-tap-legal-claim-absurd/

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    SOURCE: Complete Music Update

    Date: March 3, 2017

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

    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 material.

     

    Actor Harry Shearer filed a $400 million lawsuit against Vivendi, saying that the company owed him royalties for the 1984 movie. Earlier this month, his co-stars and the movie’s co-creators Christopher Guest and Michael McKean joined him as plaintiffs. The film’s director Rob Reiner also signed on.

    Read more:
    http://www.jdjournal.com/2017/03/01/spinal-tap-owners-demand-dismissal-of-400-million-lawsuit/

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    SOURCE: JD JOURNAL

    Date: March 3, 2017

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

    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 last year claiming they were stiffed out of millions of dollars in music sales and merchandising income related to the 1984 movie.

     

    So far, they have pocketed only $189 for music sales and merchandising income related to the 1984 movie, they said in the suit.

    .

    Read more:
    http://nypost.com/2017/03/01/spinal-tap-owners-attempt-to-get-creators-400m-suit-tossed/

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    SOURCE: NEW YORK POST

    Date: March 3, 2017

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  • VIVENDI MOVES TO DISMISS ‘TAP’ SUIT

    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 Court filing, saying that only Spinal Tap Productions had standing to file the suit because the Spinal Tap members signed letters authorizing STP to collect payments, thus waiving the right to sue.

     

    The studios also claim that “This Is Spinal Tap” generated “U.S. theatrical revenue of under $5 million,” according to court documents, nowhere near the $400 million the stars claim they are owed.

    .

    Read more:
    https://www.pollstar.com/News/vivendi-moves-to-dismiss-tap-suit-130864

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    SOURCE: Pollstar

    Date: March 3, 2017

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