'This Is Spinal Tap' Creator Sues Studio for $125M Over Merchandise Profits
"This Is Spinal Tap" has remained relevant since its 1984 release (if by no other means than "These go to 11" jokes). So, you'd think with the movie's immense popularity that the creators must be making huge sums from merchandise royalties. Well, you'd be wrong.
According to Digital Music News, Harry Shearer, one of the movie's creators and stars, is suing Vivendi Universal for $125 million in compensatory and punitive damages, claiming that he only has made $81 from the movie's merchandise, which has included T-shirts, hats, posters, stickers and more.
"This is a simple issue of artists' rights," Shearer told Reuters. "…The only people who haven't shared Spinal Tap's success are those who formed the band and created the film in the first place."
The lawsuit came after Shearer made attempts to receive the proper compensation, but after that failed, he took the studio to court. In addition to alleging fraud and breach of contract, Shearer also is attempting to win his copyrights back, which is possible under California law.