Non-Featured Performers Royalties Class Action Settlement
Session musicians and background vocalists who performed on satellite radio, digital cable, or non-interactive webcasting prior to December 31, 2016, and have not yet been compensated by the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund could be eligible to receive royalties as part of a $45.8 million settlement.
Who is Included in the Class?
Non-featured performers who contributed to a recording that received sufficient airplay on satellite radio, digital cable, or non-interactive webcasting to qualify as a covered recording before December 31, 2016, but have not yet received royalties from the fund are considered Settlement Class Members.
Members of the class who appear on a covered recording yet are not recognized as performers must submit an omissions claim form.
Plaintiffs in the Non-Featured Performers Royalty Class Action Lawsuit contend that the defendants violated their trustee duties by failing to identify and pay royalties to non-featured performers. Additionally, the plaintiffs assert that those royalties were then collected by the trustees, and so the trustees are required by law to distribute the funds.
The defendants deny any wrongdoing and are contesting this claim.
$45.8 Million Worth of Settlement Fund
In this class action lawsuit, the Court did not reach a decision. However, following extensive negotiations, both parties have determined that it is in their mutual best interests to consent to a $45.8 million settlement.
Plaintiffs and Class Members are eligible to compensation as part of the Non-Featured Performers Royalty Settlement 2021.
Several factors influence the amount of compensation awarded to each Class Member. These payments include unpaid royalties and amounts deducted from the overall settlement amount for costs, attorneys’ fees, and service awards.
Royalties are calculated for each Class Member based on the number of digital performances of the recording as well as the number of performers on the recording.
Each Class Member may earn between $10 and thousands of dollars in compensation.
After paying Class Members, deducting approximately $11 million in attorney fees, and paying for settlement costs, any funds remaining will be allocated pro-rata to Class Members.
To be eligible for royalties, Class Members must present a Performer Information Form to the fund. When the fund is fully funded, it will disperse the money from the class action settlement by the end of April 2022.
A final approval hearing was conducted over the phone on October 22, 2020.
March 1, 2022, is the deadline for submitting a Performer Information Form and collect royalties at the end of April 2022.
Editor’s Note on Non-Featured Performers Royalty Settlement 2021:
This article is written to inform you of the class action settlement of non-featured performers who did not get compensated for their performance in various settings.
Case Name & No.: Jon Blondell et al v. Bruce Bouton et al, Civil Action No. 1:17-CV-00372-RRM-RML
Jurisdiction: U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York Brooklyn Division
Allegations: AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund did not compensate the non-featured performers who are included in the class.
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