Rupa Marya v. Warner Chappell Music Inc
DECLARATION of James Chressanthis in Support of Final Approval of Class Action Settlement and Request for Incentive Compensation Award NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION for Settlement Approval of Proposed Class Action Settlement Plaintiffs' Notice of Motion and Motion for Final Approval of Proposed Class Action Settlement; Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof
1 FRANCIS M. GREGOREK (144785)
2 BETSY C. MANIFOLD (182450)
3 RACHELE R. RICKERT (190634)
4 MARISA C. LIVESAY (223247)
5 BRITTANY N. DEJONG (258766)
6 WOLF HALDENSTEIN ADLER
FREEMAN & HERZ LLP
7 750 B Street, Suite 2770
San Diego, CA 92101
8 Telephone: 619/239-4599
9 Facsimile: 619/234-4599
10 Interim Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs and the [Proposed] Class
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA -
14 GOOD MORNING TO YOU
PRODUCTIONS CORP., et al.,
19 WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC,
INC., et al.
Lead Case No. CV 13-04460-GHK (MRWx)
DECLARATION OF JAMES
CHRESSANTHIS IN SUPPORT OF
FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS
ACTION SETTLEMENT AND
REQUEST FOR INCENTIVE
Hon. George H. King, Chief
June 27, 2016
I am the managing member of Majar Productions, LLC (“Majar”), one
2 of the four Plaintiffs in this Action. I have personal knowledge of the facts set forth
3 herein and, if called upon, I could and would competently testify thereto.
I submit this Declaration in support of Plaintiffs’ motions for final
5 approval of the Settlement and for an incentive compensation award to the Plaintiffs.
6 These motions and supporting memoranda of law are filed concurrently herewith.
On or about October 29, 2009, Majar paid Defendant Warner/Chappell
8 Music, Inc. (“Warner”) the sum of $5,000 for a synchronization license to use Happy
9 Birthday to You (“Happy Birthday” or the “Song”).
At the time, I was aware of Warner’s claim to own a copyright to
11 Happy Birthday, and at that time I understood that Majar could use the Song safely
12 only if we obtained a license to do so.
After Majar paid for a license for Happy Birthday, I became aware that
14 another Plaintiff, Good Morning to You Productions Corp. (“GMTY”) had
15 commenced litigation against Warner and its subsidiary challenging their claim to
16 own a copyright to the Song.
I immediately contacted attorney Kara Wolke and discussed the
18 copyright dispute with her. Following our discussion, I decided to become involved
19 in the litigation with Majar serving as a Plaintiff, and I instructed my attorney to
20 make arrangements for Majar to join the Action. On or about July 17, 2013, a
21 complaint was filed in this Court on Majar’s behalf and on behalf of all others who
22 were similarly situated.
I have been actively involved as a Plaintiff in the Action. Before my
24 complaint was filed, I spoke on a number of occasions with Ms. Wolke and Marc
25 Godino of the Glancy Prongay & Murray law firm. I searched for and provided my
26 attorneys with documents relevant to my claim, provided information to be included
27 in the complaint and reviewed the complaint itself.
CASE NO. CV 13-04460-GHK (MRWX)
After my complaint was filed, I continued to provide any documents and
information to my counsel as requested to assist them in prosecuting the action, I
have had regular telephone and e-mail communications with my attorneys during the
course of this matter, I have reviewed all the pleadings and other filings in the case, I
have provided factual declarations when necessary, I have kept informed of all
developments in the litigation, and finally, I reviewed and approved the proposed
My attorneys have kept me informed of the progress of the litigation
throughout the pendency of the Action so that I could oversee the Action for the
benefit of the Class. In particular, my attorneys and I reviewed the consolidated and
amended complaints before they were filed, we reviewed the Defendants’ motion to
dismiss and Plaintiffs’ response to it, we reviewed the Court’s decision denying
Defendants’ motion to dismiss, we reviewed the exchange of discovery, we reviewed
the cross-motions for summary judgment and the Court’s hearings on the cross-
motions, we reviewed the Court’s decision granting partial summary judgment in
favor of the Plaintiffs, and we discussed the possible settlement of the Action.
I had extensive communication with my attorneys about the proposed
Settlement as it was being negotiated. Ultimately, after those communications, I
reviewed, approved, and executed the Settlement Agreement. Thereafter, I have
continued to stay abreast of the settlement process.
I have spent in excess of 30 hours performing my duties as Plaintiff in
compensation or promise of compensation of any kind.
I have spent all that time at my own expense, and without any
I believe my role in the Action was instrumental in achieving the
excellent results we have obtained for the Class and for the public.
By serving as a plaintiff in this case through Majar, I undertook duties
and obligations that other class members did not take. In addition to time I spent
participating in the prosecution of this case, I took a risk by coming forward and
CASE NO. CV 13-04460-GHK (MRWX)
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