Lawsuit filed against UMG over archive fire

Lawsuit filed against UMG over archive fire

Artists and estates have filed a class action lawsuit action against Universal Music Group over the 2008 archive fire in California.

Chairman/CEO Sir Lucian Grainge has already pledged to provide “transparency” following reports about the extent of the fire.

More than a decade after the blaze, there is speculation that up to 500,000 master recordings were destroyed – far more than was originally reported in 2008.

Artists and estates who have filed the lawsuit include Soundgarden, Tupac Shakur’s estate, Hole, Steve Earle and representatives for Tom Petty.

According to the lawsuit, UMG's legal and insurance claims were reportedly valued at $150 million (£117.9m).

"UMG concealed its massive recovery from plaintiffs, apparently hoping it could keep it all to itself by burying the truth in sealed court filings and a confidential settlement agreement," stated the complaint. "Most importantly, UMG did not share any of its recovery with plaintiffs, the artists whose life works were destroyed in the Fire – even though, by the terms of their recording contracts, plaintiffs are entitled to 50% of those proceeds and payments."

Universal Music Group has contested the reports about the severity of the fire.

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