“IN THE KNOW” Weekly Recap of legal news in the entertainment industry.

1) "This is Spinal Tap" Royalties Lawsuit Heats Up! 

In late 2016, Spinal Tap's Harry Schearer filed a lawsuit against Vivendi and others contending that he had been shorted on profits related to the cult 1984 film. Last week, co-creators Christopher Guest and Michael McKean, along with director Rob Reiner, joined the lawsuit which increased the damages to $400 million. Defendants claimed that Schearer was only entitled to less than $200 over the course of a 25+ year period. Will their tune change now that some other big names have been added? More details here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/…/rob-reiner-spinal-tap-cr…    

2) Sony Music Faces Off with Singers in Royalty Battle

Sony Music Entertainment was just hit with a lawsuit on behalf of 1970s female singing group "The Three Degrees". The singers allege that their former manager failed to remit any royalties despite an iron-clad oral contract with Richard Barrett, their late manager, which called for the members to receive 75% of all royalties; and that Sony knew they were being stiffed but ignored the injustice. More details here: http://fortune.com/2017/02/08/sony-royalties-three-degrees/

3) Late Hepburn's Charity Sues Actress's Son

In what can only be described as a bizarre turn of events, Audrey Hepburn's charity has filed a lawsuit against the late actress's son Sean Ferrer for interference with contractual relations because the son has allegedly ousted another partner (his half-brother Lucas Dotti) from the exploitation of his mother's name and likeness. Ferrer and Dotti were partners and created the charity together. Poor Audrey is likely rolling over in her grave.... More details here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/…/audrey-hepburn-childrens…

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