Hole Drop Vault Fire Lawsuit Against Universal Studios
After Universal Music Group assured the band their recordings weren't impacted in the blaze, Courtney Love-led grunge act Hole have dropped out of a class action lawsuit filed against UMG over the 2008 vault fire on the Universal Studios lot that reportedly destroyed a number of artists' master recordings.
Filed in June, Hole had first joined a group of acts in the punitive proceedings. However, the complaint against UMG was amended last week (Aug. 16), excluding Hole after attorneys for the musicians said the label found the band's music wasn't involved. The other originally named plaintiffs — Soundgarden, Steve Earle and representatives for both Tom Petty and Tupac Shakur — are still pursing their claims, as Billboard reported.
"This Amended Complaint does not include Hole as a plaintiff, solely based on UMG's written assurances to Plaintiffs' counsel that no Hole Master Recordings were lost in the Fire," the revision explains, as obtained by Spin. "At present Plaintiffs are not aware of information contradicting those recent assurances regarding Hole."
In a statement, Universal Music Group charged that artists' lawyers hurried to file suit against the "Big Three" music company once a report from The New York Times shined new light on the damage.
"Over a month ago, without even knowing if the 2008 fire on the NBC/Universal Studios lot affected their clients, plaintiffs' attorneys rushed to pursue meritless legal claims," a UMG spokesperson said.
They continued, "UMG's dedicated global team is actively working directly with our artists and their representatives to provide accurate information concerning the assets we have and what might have been lost in the fire. Even though our work is not yet complete, we have already determined that original masters for many of the artists named in the lawsuit were not lost in the 2008 fire."
Universal Music Group made similar claims following the preliminary report and subsequent class action filing. In July, it alleged only 22 "original masters" were presumably lost in the fire. The Times' original investigation speculated that up to 500,000 master recordings in the vault may have been destroyed.
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