‘This Is Spinal Tap’ Co-Creators Reach Royalties Settlement With Studio
This Is Spinal Tap co-creators Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, Michael McKean and Christopher Guest have a deal in place that should resolve their ongoing legal dispute over owed royalties. According to the Hollywood Reporter, attorneys for the group as well as Vivendi and their Studio Canal division reached a financial settlement in a California federal court on Friday (Sept. 18)
Shearer, who played Derek Smalls in the film, initially filed suit against Vivendi back in October of 2016, seeking $125 million from Vivendi over unpaid royalties. The actor-musician alleged that he and the other co-creators were paid just $98 between 1989-2006 for soundtrack sales and just $81 in merchandising royalties between 1984-2006.
"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,” said Shearer at the time. He was eventually joined by Reiner, McKean and Guest in the suit.
In addition to settling with Vivendi concerning the film, they also previously reached a settlement with Universal Music over soundtrack revenue as well.
According to a status report to the judge, both parties state they reached an agreement with plans to prepare a long-form settlement agreement that will include "restructuring the parties' relationship and modifying contracts pertaining to the picture's distribution."
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