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Entertainment and Sports Law Litigation

The Story Behind AFM & SAG-AFTRA Royalty Fund Distribution Litigation

The case of a session musician's unpaid royalties revealed a gross lack of initiative on the part of the trustees and directors of AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund and that the fund administrators had made little if any effort for years to distribute funds to thousands of session musicians and backup singers.

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Eric Zukoski — a Dallas, TX, intellectual property attorney with Quilling, Selander, Lownds, Winslett & Moser — has worked a side job as a session musician all his adult life. Performing gigs around Dallas as a double bass player, Zukoski spent much of his time associating with other session musicians. It was that connection that led him to launch a class action in New York state that resulted in a $44.65 million payout of royalties to over 60,000 class members, funds that had not been distributed in some cases going back a decade. Blondell v. Bouton, 1:17-cv-00372 (E.D.N.Y.).

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