A Sherman Oaks production company is suing a Paris-based multinational mass media conglomerate, alleging breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

Century of Progress Productions filed a complaint Oct. 17 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Vivendi S.A., StudioCanal, StudioCanal Imagel Ron Halpern, and Does 1 through 10, alleging the defendants engaged in anti-competitive business practices by manipulating accounting between Vivendi film and music subsidiaries and having engaged in fraud to deprive the creators of the movie "This is Spinal Tap" of a fair return for their work.

According to the complaint, in 1984, the classic movie parody "This Is Spinal Tap" was released and was quickly recognized as a unique film with long-term appeal to the audience. Century of Progress (CPP) alleges the defendants have claimed and administered the rights to the movie and have been responsible for accounting to the co-creators, including CPP.

Century of Progress also alleges it has the intellectual property rights and was unlawfully deprived of substantial revenues from the film.

The plaintiff alleges the defendants have engaged in anti-competitive and unfair business practices and have abandoned its obligations to enforce intellectual property rights and failed to account honestly for income actually received from "This Is Spinal Tap."

Century of Progress Productions seeks trial by jury, compensatory and punitive damages, costs of suit, reasonable attorney fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, and all other relief the court deems just and proper. It is represented by attorney Peter L. Haviland of Ballard Spahr LLP in Los Angeles.

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