Hollywood Royalties

Bell Yard designed the litigation PR strategy and is managing three media teams in support of a $400m lawsuit brought in Los Angeles, California, against a European rights-owning media giant, across key jurisdictions: UK, USA & France. The claim was filed by the three members of fictitious English band “Spinal Tap” and their collaborating partner, for breach of contract over non-payment of royalties over a beloved classic mockumentary film “This is Spinal Tap”, released over three decades ago.

The Vivendi group, the current rights owner, claim the creative work has made its co-creators a mere US$81 (between them) in merchandise sales and a paltry US$98 (again, to be divided by the four) in global music sales – in some 34 years – despite the film’s continued popularity. The claim also centres on alleged fraudulent misrepresentation and concealment and seeks declaratory relief in respect of abandoned trademarks and copyright reversion.

Bell Yard’s PR team combines seamlessly both with the claimant’s IP lawyer and with the trial attorney and his team to ensure public attention is focused on the accounting practices deployed by Vivendi and its subsidiaries.

Due to the growing support of artists groups following the media coverage of this dispute, we created a dedicated website (https://www.fairnessrocks.com/) which supports other artists who find themselves in a similar position. The website is a repository of information on the whole issue of copyright and talent contracts for future creative artists, so they may not to be similarly denied the rewards of their creativity in future.

We are recognised leaders in our field. We are proud to uphold the ethical and educational standards for the PR industry as members of the CIPR and PRCA.

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