Harry Shearer Sues Vivendi’s Universal, Studiocanal for $125 Million Over Music Copyrights to ‘Spinal Tap’

Harry Shearer sues Spinal Tap
Steve Meddle/REX/Shutterstock

CANNES, France — Harry Shearer is suing Vivendi’s Universal Music Group and Studiocanal for $125 million for allegedly fraudulent accounting of the music revenues from Rob Reiner’s 1984 film “This is Spinal Tap.”

Shearer, who co-created and starred in the classic mockumentary, is seeking $125 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

“This is Spinal Tap” follows the legendary British heavy metal band Spinal Tap as they organize a comeback tour. The spoof was created by Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner.

Shearer, who co-wrote the soundtrack to the film, filed suit in the Central District Court of California on Tuesday over the alleged underpayment of music royalties. The lawsuit says that Vivendi reported only $98 in total income from soundtrack music sales between 1989 and 2006. As far as worldwide merchandising income, Vivendi reported only $81 between 1984 and 2006, the lawsuit says.

Vivendi has “failed and refused, and continues to fail and refuse, to provide Plaintiff with proper and accurate accountings reflecting the amount of revenues derived from the distribution and exploitation of the Film and associated music and merchandise rights,” the complaint alleges.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 1

Leave a Reply

1 Comment

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. hardiharhar says:

    Shearer is not the only victim of that company’s outrageous royalty manipulations. He should win and it may lead to a huge class action suit as well. Bad guys have to get it in the end.

More Film News from Variety

Loading