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Class Action Status and Settlement

Court Conditionally Certifies Composers' Request for Class Action Status & Settlement

SCL member, Jeff Graubart, lawyer for plaintiffs Fred Steiner, William Goldstein, Nathan East, and Chuckii Booker, reports that the United States District Court for the Central District of California has conditionally certified the plaintiffs' request for class action status on behalf of thousands of composers, publishers, and record companies against defendants ABC, Inc., American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., Viacom entities Worldvision Enterprises, Inc., Spelling Satellite Networks, Inc. and Image Edit, Inc., and other defendants, and reports that a conditional settlement has been reached in the amount of $25.4 million.

A good number of the potential claimants are film and television composers (even including certain composers whose works were created under work-made-for-hire agreements).

Plaintiffs' Complaint alleges that ABC and the other defendants engaged in willful copyright infringement of thousands of musical compositions and sound recordings used in the ABC soap operas GENERAL HOSPITAL, ONE LIFE TO LIVE, and ALL MY CHILDREN.

The settlement monies will be paid to entitled class members who file claim forms (which are to be sent by mail to each affected class member at his or her last known addresses). In the event a SCL member believes he or she to be an applicable claimant, but does not receive a claim form by the end of April 2003, in order to request a claim form he or she should contact the Claims Administrator at Gilardi & Company (see their website as noted below).

For further information, there is a toll free number and a website:
(800)293-4294
www.gilardi.com/steinersettlement

Also see a copy of the Summary Notice printed on Monday, April 7, 2003 in Daily Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, New Tork Times, USA Today, and other newspapers.

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