Rupa Marya v. Warner Chappell Music Inc

Filing 328

DECLARATION of Robert Siegel 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) gregorek@whafh.com 2 BETSY C. MANIFOLD (182450) manifold@whafh.com 3 RACHELE R. RICKERT (190634) rickert@whafh.com 4 MARISA C. LIVESAY (223247) livesay@whafh.com 5 BRITTANY N. DEJONG (258766) dejong@whafh.com 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 ROBERT SIEGEL 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 The undersigned, Robert Siegel, under penalty of perjury, hereby declares and 2 states as follows: 3 1. I am a filmmaker and the assignee of Big Fan Productions, Inc. (“Big 4 Fan”). I am also one of the four Plaintiffs in this Action. I have personal knowledge 5 of the facts set forth herein and, if called upon, I could and would competently testify 6 thereto. 7 2. I submit this Declaration in support of Plaintiffs’ motions for final 8 approval of the Settlement and for an incentive compensation award to the Plaintiffs. 9 These motions and supporting memoranda of law are filed concurrently herewith. 10 3. Big Fan obtained a license from Defendant Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. 11 (“Warner”) on or about September 1, 2009, for which it paid Warner the sum of 12 $3,000. At the time, I was aware of Warner’s claim to own a copyright to the song 13 Happy Birthday to You (“Happy Birthday” or the “Song”), and at that time Big Fan 14 understood I could use the Song safely only if I obtained a license to do so. 15 4. After I paid for a license for Happy Birthday, I became aware that 16 another Plaintiff, Good Morning to You Productions Corp. (“GMTY”) had 17 commenced litigation against Warner and its subsidiary challenging their claim to 18 own a copyright to the Song. 19 5. I immediately contacted my attorney, Mark C. Rifkin, Esquire, and 20 discussed the copyright dispute with him. Following our discussion, I decided to 21 become involved in the litigation as a Plaintiff, and I instructed my attorney to make 22 arrangements for me to join the Action. On June 19, 2013, a complaint was filed in 23 this Court on my behalf and on behalf of all others who were similarly situated. 24 6. I have been actively involved as a Plaintiff in the Action. Before my 25 complaint was filed, I met with Mr. Rifkin and his colleagues and I gave them 26 information about Big Fan’s license, I spoke with them about the potential claims 27 against the Defendants, and explained my responsibilities as a plaintiff in a class 28 1 SIEGEL DECL. CASE NO. CV 13-04460-GHK (MRWX) 1 action. 2 7. After my complaint was filed, I communicated with Mr. Rifkin and his 3 colleagues by telephone and email on numerous occasions about the progress of the 4 Action, to discuss ongoing discovery, and to discuss strategies in the litigation and 5 settlement negotiations. 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 30 hours in performing my duties as Plaintiff 20 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 12. I hereby certify, under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the 25 Unitted States, that the foregoing statements are true and correct to the best of my 26 knowledge, information, and belief. 27 /// 28 2 SIEGEL DECL. CASE NO. CV 13-04460-GHK (MRWX)

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