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Thu Jul 18, 2019, 12:07 PM

Universal Music Group Asks Court to Extinguish Backlot Fire Class Action

Source: Hollywood Reporter

JULY 17, 2019 5:09pm PT by Ashley Cullins

Universal Music Group Asks Court to Extinguish Backlot Fire Class Action

UMG says the suit from artists and heirs isn't based on "any valid legal theory."

Universal Music Group says the 2008 backlot fire that destroyed a vault containing master recordings resulted in "heartbreaking loss," but it's under no obligation to share with artists the settlement it received almost a decade ago.

UMG says a June exposť in The New York Times Magazine and the media coverage that followed has spread speculation about the extent of the damage caused by the blaze. Shortly after its publication, a group of artists and estates, including those of Tom Petty and Tupac Shakur, filed a $100 million class action against UMG claiming it breached its agreements with artists by not sharing a settlement after cutting a deal with its insurer and the property owners.

While UMG understands the concerns about the assets that may have been lost in the fire, it says the plaintiffs' complaint isn't based on "any valid legal theory."

"The Complaint includes two breach of contract 'Claims for Relief' but conspicuously avoids reciting any language from the recording agreements that Plaintiffs accuse UMG of breaching," writes attorney Scott Edelman. "Those agreements grant UMG ownership of any master recordings and entitle the artists to royalties in specific enumerated circumstances, none of which has been or can be pleaded here. The Complaint does not and cannot plead any facts plausibly showing that UMG breached any provision in any contract."


Read more: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/universal-music-asks-court-extinguish-fire-class-action-1225139

Firefighters battle a huge blaze on the backlot of Universal Studios on June 1, 2008. (Divid McNew/Getty Images)

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Reply Universal Music Group Asks Court to Extinguish Backlot Fire Class Action (Original post)
Eugene Jul 2019 OP
PJMcK Jul 2019 #1

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Jul 18, 2019, 12:19 PM

1. UMG will be held blameless, I bet

Most of the recording artist contracts from earlier times (say, pre-1980) were so slanted in favor of the labels that the artists' claims could be found baseless.

Today, of course, things are different. (snark)

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