The co-creators of This Is Spinal Tap have filed amendments to their $400 million lawsuit against Vivendi, adding Universal Music Group as a co-defendant.
Actors Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and the film’s director Rob Reiner amended the complaint which has been filed against the French conglomerate and its movie company StudioCanal, which now controls the rights to ‘This Is Spinal Tap’. Universal Music controls the rights in the accompanying soundtrack, which is why it is now been brought into the case.
In February, Shearer sued Vivendi for £125million of profits from the movie that he claims he is owed. Guest, McKean and Reiner then joined the complaint and the claim was raised to $400million.
Last month, Judge Dolly Gee, who is overseeing the case, told Shearer, McKean and Reiner that they couldn’t sue Vivendi via their individual companies, but could in to their own right, as Guest already had. The judge also told all four men that they needed to be more specific in regard to their allegations of fraud against Vivendi.
The amended complaint now details Shearer, Reiner & McLean as individual co-plaintiffs alongside Guest, details the fraud by concealment and misrepresentation conducted by Vivendi and its agent Ron Halpern, and seeks Declaratory Judgment over copyright recapture and trademark rights.
Legal representatives for all four men said: “The amended complaint details the fraud by concealment and misrepresentation conducted by Vivendi and its agent Ron Halpern and others. The co-creators contend there was longstanding and deliberate concealment by Vivendi of material facts regarding the actual gross receipts of the film, soundtrack, music and merchandise sales, plus expenses and the profits owed to them”.
Shearer added: “The scale and persistence of fraudulent misrepresentation by Vivendi and its agents to us is breath-taking in its audacity. We are slowly unpeeling an onion that’s beginning to look rotten to its core. One just has to wonder how these defendants are treating other filmmakers and musicians.”