Spinal Tap settle soundtrack dispute with Universal Music

By on November 6, 2019


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The creators of rock “mockumentary” This Is Spinal Tap say they have resolved a legal dispute with Universal Music over the film’s soundtrack.

Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner, who starred in the 1984 film, said they had reached a settlement with Universal’s parent company Vivendi.

The actors claimed the entertainment group had denied them payments.

A mediator had been working to resolve the dispute since last November.

Directed by Reiner, This Is Spinal Tap followed the misfortunes of a fictional British rock band as they promoted their new record.

Under the new agreement, the band’s music will continue to be distributed through Universal Music Group and the rights will eventually be given to the creators.

Shearer, who later appeared in The Simpsons, launched the case in 2016, claiming “fraudulent accounting” and “anti-competitive behaviour”.

His legal action claimed that, “according to Vivendi”, the four creators’ share of merchandising income between 1984 and 2006 was just $81 (£66). He initially sought $125m (£97m) in damages, but the claim was increased to $400m (£310m) after Shearer was joined by the others.

The final settlement amount was not disclosed.

The comedy film, which contained such songs as the fittingly-titled Gimme Some Money, Stonehenge and Big Bottom, has been credited by the likes of Ricky Gervais as a major influence.

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