Rupa Marya v. Warner Chappell Music Inc

Filing 326

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

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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 11 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 12 CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA - 13 WESTERN DIVISION 14 GOOD MORNING TO YOU PRODUCTIONS CORP., et al., 15 Plaintiffs, 16 17 v. 18 19 WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC, INC., et al. 20 Defendants. 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) 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 COMPENSATION AWARD Room: Judge: Date: Time: 650 Hon. George H. King, Chief Judge June 27, 2016 9:30 a.m. 1 1. 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. 4 2. 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. 7 3. 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”). 10 4. 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. 13 5. 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. 17 6. 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. 23 7. 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. 28 1 CHRESSANTHIS DECL. CASE NO. CV 13-04460-GHK (MRWX) 1 8. After my complaint was filed, I continued to provide any documents and 2 information to my counsel as requested to assist them in prosecuting the action, I 3 have had regular telephone and e-mail communications with my attorneys during the 4 course of this matter, I have reviewed all the pleadings and other filings in the case, I 5 have provided factual declarations when necessary, I have kept informed of all 6 developments in the litigation, and finally, I reviewed and approved the proposed 7 settlement. 8 9. My attorneys have kept me informed of the progress of the litigation 9 throughout the pendency of the Action so that I could oversee the Action for the 10 benefit of the Class. In particular, my attorneys and I reviewed the consolidated and 11 amended complaints before they were filed, we reviewed the Defendants’ motion to 12 dismiss and Plaintiffs’ response to it, we reviewed the Court’s decision denying 13 Defendants’ motion to dismiss, we reviewed the exchange of discovery, we reviewed 14 the cross-motions for summary judgment and the Court’s hearings on the cross- 15 motions, we reviewed the Court’s decision granting partial summary judgment in 16 favor of the Plaintiffs, and we discussed the possible settlement of the Action. 17 10. I had extensive communication with my attorneys about the proposed 18 Settlement as it was being negotiated. Ultimately, after those communications, I 19 reviewed, approved, and executed the Settlement Agreement. Thereafter, I have 20 continued to stay abreast of the settlement process. 21 11. I have spent in excess of 30 hours performing my duties as Plaintiff in 22 the Action. 23 compensation or promise of compensation of any kind. 24 25 26 12. 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. 13. By serving as a plaintiff in this case through Majar, I undertook duties 27 and obligations that other class members did not take. In addition to time I spent 28 participating in the prosecution of this case, I took a risk by coming forward and 2 CHRESSANTHIS DECL. CASE NO. CV 13-04460-GHK (MRWX)

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