Rupa Marya v. Warner Chappell Music Inc

Filing 327

DECLARATION of Rupa Marya 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 RUPA MARYA 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 I, Rupa Marya, under penalty of perjury, hereby declare and state as follows: 2 1. I am the leader of the band Rupa & The April Fishes, and one of the 3 four Plaintiffs in this Action. I have personal knowledge of the facts set forth herein 4 and, if called upon, I could and would competently testify thereto. 5 2. I submit this Declaration in support of Plaintiffs’ motions for final 6 approval of the Settlement and for an incentive compensation award to the Plaintiffs. 7 These motions and supporting memoranda of law are filed concurrently herewith. 8 3. On April 27, 2013, Rupa & The April Fishes recorded a live show at 9 The Independent in San Francisco, including a rendition of the song Happy Birthday 10 to You (“Happy Birthday” or the “Song”), for later release as an album entitled Live 11 at the Independent. I obtained a license from Defendant Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. 12 (“Warner”) on or about June 17, 2013, for which I paid the sum of $455. At the 13 time, I was aware of Warner’s claim to own a copyright to the song Happy Birthday 14 to You (“Happy Birthday” or the “Song”), and at that time I understood I could use 15 the Song safely only if I obtained a license to do so. 16 4. Prior to any Plaintiff filing suit, I discussed the copyright dispute over 17 the Song at length with my attorney, Daniel Schacht of Donahue Fitzgerald LLP. I 18 was particularly concerned that if I lost, I would face a financially devastating award 19 of attorneys’ fees against me personally. Following our discussions, I decided to 20 become involved in a class action litigation as a lead plaintiff, and I instructed Mr. 21 Schacht to make arrangements to file such an action. 22 5. After I recorded Happy Birthday for release on my live album and after 23 I had instructed Mr. Schacht to file a class action suit regarding the copyright status 24 of the Song, I became aware that another Plaintiff, Good Morning to You 25 Productions Corp. (“GMTY”) had commenced litigation against Warner and its 26 subsidiary challenging their claim to own a copyright to the Song. 27 28 6. Based on discussions among myself, Mr. Schacht, and Mark Rifkin of 1 MARYA DECL. CASE NO. CV 13-04460-GHK (MRWX) 1 Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP, I instructed them to file suit on my 2 behalf, and join my action with the existing action. On June 20, 2013, a complaint 3 was filed in this Court on my behalf and on behalf of all others who were similarly 4 situated. 5 7. I have been actively involved as a Plaintiff in the Action. 6 8. My attorneys have kept me informed of the progress of the litigation 7 throughout the pendency of the Action so that I could oversee the Action for the 8 benefit of the Class. In particular, my attorneys and I reviewed the consolidated and 9 amended complaints before they were filed, we reviewed the Defendants’ motion to 10 dismiss and Plaintiffs’ response to it, we reviewed the Court’s decision denying 11 Defendants’ motion to dismiss, we reviewed the exchange of discovery, we reviewed 12 the cross-motions for summary judgment and the Court’s hearings on the cross- 13 motions, we reviewed the Court’s decision granting partial summary judgment in 14 favor of the Plaintiffs, and we discussed the possible settlement of the Action. 15 9. I had extensive communication with my attorneys about the proposed 16 Settlement as it was being negotiated. Ultimately, after those communications, I 17 reviewed, approved, and executed the Settlement Agreement. Thereafter, I have 18 continued to review the settlement process. 19 10. I have spent approximately fifty hours in performing my duties as 20 Plaintiff in the Action. I have spent all that time at my own expense, and without any 21 compensation or promise of compensation of any kind. 22 23 11. I believe my role in the Action was instrumental in achieving the excellent results we have obtained for the Class and for the public. 24 25 26 27 28 2 MARYA DECL. CASE NO. CV 13-04460-GHK (MRWX) 1 12. I hereby certify, under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the 2 Unitted States, that the foregoing statements are true and correct to the best of my 3 knowledge, information, and belief. 4 Kensington 18th Executed this ____ day of April, 2016, at ____________, California. 5 6 7 Rupa Marya 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 MARYA DECL. CASE NO. CV 13-04460-GHK (MRWX)

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