Published Nov 05, 2019Way back in 2016, Harry Shearer launched an enormous lawsuit over alleged unpaid Spinal Tap royalties. Now, at least part of the suit has been settled.
In the initial lawsuit, Shearer and his bandmates Michael McKean and Christopher Guest — along with the original film's director Rob Reiner — claimed that they were only paid $81 for merchandising and $98 for the Spinal Tap soundtrack between 1989 and 2006. They sued for a combined total of $400 million USD.
According to Variety, the band's lawsuit with the Universal Music Group has now been settled. The company will continue to distribute Spinal Tap's music, but "eventually the rights will be given to the creators. The parties look forward to making these beloved recordings available to existing and new Spinal Tap fans for years to come."
In a statement, Shearer (who doubles as the band's bassist Derek Smalls) said, "I must admit, from the moment we first began mediation with them to now, I've been impressed by UMG's respect for creatives and their distinctive desire to seek a prompt and equitable solution to the issues."
Guest (who plays Spinal Tap's frontman, Nigel Tufnel) added, "It was refreshing to be treated so constructively and with such courtesy by UMG and I'm pleased we have been able to resolve this."
According to Billboard, however, the band's lawsuit against StudioCanal is still not settled. They have alleged breach of contract, fraud and anti-competitive business practices against the studio and its executive Ron Halpern.