‘Spinal Tap’ and Vivendi Push Pause Button on Royalties Dispute

(Bloomberg) -- The creators of “This is Spinal Tap” and Vivendi SA’s Studiocanal asked a judge to put their dispute over allegedly unpaid profits from the 1984 cult classic on hold while they pursue a possible settlement.

Lawyers for the creators of the mockumentary about a fictional British rock band and Vivendi said in a filing Tuesday in federal court in Los Angeles that they want to sit down with a mediator to either resolve or narrow the lawsuit. Since they can’t get before a mediator until March, they seek a pause in the case until April 1.

In August, Studiocanal failed to persuade the federal judge to dismiss the fraud claim by actor/comedian Harry Shearer and the other co-stars and the director of the movie, who seek $400 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

Without ruling on the merits of their claim, the judge agreed that the creators made sufficient allegations about “nefarious accounting practices,” including bundling the movie with unsuccessful films and movie rights in the Embassy Pictures catalog, and manufacturing false expense deductions.

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