Yeah, this lawsuit goes way past 11. Harry Shearer took to Twitter to explain his "fairness" mission when it comes to suing for profits from "This Is Spinal Tap."
Shearer played Derek Smalls in director Rob Reiner's 1984 classic -- which co-starred Christopher Guest and Michael McKean -- and he is also credited as one of the co-writers and co-creators of the music. According to the Wall Street Journal, Shearer filed a lawsuit Monday alleging that he and his co-creators have been stiffed of profits for years. Through his production company, he's asking for $125 million in compensatory and punitive damages from Vivendi SA (which owns the movie rights) and its StudioCanal subsidiary.
Shearer (now potentially more famous for voicing so many characters on "The Simpsons") has turned his Twitter into headquarters for the lawsuit, posting videos and directing people to a site called Fairness Rocks, where he explains more of his intentions:
Here's what's posted on the homepage of Fairness Rocks:
This US legal complaint is important for all creators and artists
Popular music and films make huge money for rights-owning corporations.
Yet, too often, the artists and creators get a raw deal from exploitation of their talent.
I want to help rebalance this equation.
My case against Vivendi is simple, if perhaps a little shocking.
It's been 34 years since This Is Spinal Tap was released.
Yet, the creators have been told that global music sales from the soundtrack album total just US$98.
We're also, apparently, only entitled to share US$81 (between us) from global merchandising sales.
This shocks me, given Tap's enduring popularity.
So, Vivendi – it's not a big ask. Just show us how you're exploiting our creative work and pay us a fair share.
If you're a fellow creator, the information on this site may be of interest.
The rights campaigners listed here may well be able to help you.
Sounds like he's livin' in a hell hole (sorry) so best of luck in whatever happens from here. At least he's making his point.
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