Colin Stutz: Universal Music Group Hit With Class Action Lawsuit by Tupac Estate, Soundgarden & More Over 2008 Vault Fire

A group of artists, their heirs and representatives of their estates filed a putative class action lawsuit against Universal Music Group (UMG) on Friday over a 2008 fire that destroyed up to 500,000 master recordings in the record company’s archive vaults, according to an earlier New York Times article investigative report.

The lawsuit was filed by Soundgarden, Tom Whalley on behalf of the Afeni Shakur Trust that oversees Tupac Shakur’s estate, Tom Petty’s ex-wife Jane Petty, Hole and Steve Earle. They are seeking to recover half of any settlement proceeds and insurance payments received by UMG and half of any remaining loss of value not compensated by such settlement proceeds and insurance payments. According to the lawsuit, UMG’s litigation and insurance claims following the fire were reportedly valued at $150 million to recoup the value of the master recordings — none of which was directly shared with artists.

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