Settlement Administrator Angeion Group Announces Proposed Settlement In Streaming Royalty Class Action
A settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit involving non-featured musicians and vocalists entitled to streaming royalties under the Copyright Act. The AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund (the "Fund") is responsible for distributing royalties to these non-featured artists. In July 2013, the Fund entered into a services agreement with the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists ("SAG-AFTRA") and American Federation of Musicians of The United States and Canada ("AFM" together, the "Unions") whereby the Fund paid 3% of distributable streaming revenues to the Unions in exchange for certain performer data and related services. Plaintiff's lawsuit alleged that the Fund Board of Trustees breached their fiduciary duties in doing so. This settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing by any Defendant. The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiff or Defendants. Instead, both sides, with the assistance of two mediators, agreed to this settlement. Settlement avoids the costs of trial, and assures that settlement benefits go to class members. The Class Representative and his attorneys think the Settlement is in the best interests of the Class.
Who Is a Class Member? The Settlement Class is defined as "all non-featured musicians and non-featured vocalists, their agents, successors in interest, assigns, heirs, executors, trustees, and administrators, entitled to royalties under the Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. § 114(g)(2)(b-c)) allocated for distribution by the Fund for each distribution cycle after July 22, 2013." If you are a Class member, you are not required to take any action. This Notice is only a summary of the proposed Settlement. The complete terms of the proposed Settlement are set forth in the Settlement Agreement which is available at www.RoyaltyFundSettlement.com.
What does the Settlement provide? The Settlement provides for direct recovery of $5,350,000 automatically distributed to Class Members on a pro rata basis, modifies the current service fee, and restructures the negotiation process for any future fees. An additional $2,600,000 will be used to cover any litigation expenses and fees of the Class Counsel, costs incurred by the Settlement Administrator, and any service award to the Class Representative capped at $25,000.
Objecting to the Settlement. Any Class Member who wishes to object to the Settlement must send to Class Counsel and Defendants' Counsel, or the Settlement Administrator, a written and signed statement entitled "Objection" no later than January 11, 2022. Detailed information on how to submit a written objection can be found on the Settlement Website.
The Court's Hearing. The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing on February 28, 2022, at 12 p.m. (Pacific time) to decide whether to approve the Settlement. You do not have to come to the Fairness Hearing. Class Counsel will answer any questions asked by the Court. If you want to attend the hearing, keep in mind that the date and/or time may be changed after this Notice is published, so you should check the Settlement Website.
Class Counsel. The Court has appointed the law firms listed below to represent you and other Class Members in the Settlement. These lawyers are called Class Counsel. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
This notice is only a summary. Complete information about the lawsuit, including your rights and options are available at www.RoyaltyFundSettlement.com or by accessing the Court docket in this case, for a fee, through the Court's Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://pacer.uscourts.gov, or by visiting the office of the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for the Central District of California - Western Division.
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