Raiding the Rock Vault claim results in request for a court declaration

February 2016

Live events sector


Record producer David Kershenbaum alleged threats to shut down a Las Vegas show – which removed him as director – has resulted in a law suit from the show’s producer, Rock Vault.

Kershenbaum was a co-director and co-writer of Rock Vault Tours’ show “Raiding the Rock Vault” staged at the Tropicana Las Vegas. Rock Vault says it had to ask him to “disengage from his duties in connection to “Raiding the Rock Vault.” It says he has no role in the show now playing at the Tropicana, nor in a new show, to be called “Raiding the Country Vault.”

However Kershenbaum says he is co-owner of the copyrights for “Raiding the Rock Vaults.” He claims the shows infringe on his copyrights, and sent a cease and desist letter to Rock Vault, threatening to sue to stop the show and the second show unless Rock Vault brought out his interest in the copyrights, with the sum of $1 million reportedly claimed.

Rock Vault says that “In light of Kershenbaum’s threat to seek an injunction to enjoin further performances of Raiding the Rock Vault and to prevent Rock Vault from launching its new show, “Raiding the Country Vault” they will ask for a declaration from the court that Rock Vault co-owns the copyrights and has not and will not infringe Kershenbaum’s copyright in either show.

It was reported that Kershenbaum’s attorney, Cory Baskin, said: “Mr. Kershenbaum’s involvement in the production was severed after he … refused to sign over his copyright interest in the production to Rock Vault.”

Baskin added: “Second, contrary to the mischaracterizations in the lawsuit, Mr. Kershenbaum has not ‘demanded’ up to $1 million, or he will shut down the touring show via copyright lawsuits. In fact, Mr. Kershenbaum does not dispute that Rock Vault appears to have acquired a co-ownership interest in the copyright to the production and a separate co-ownership interest in the copyright to the production’s format after settling a copyright infringement lawsuit brought against it in July 2014 by the show’s co-creator, John Payne. Accordingly, there is no actual controversy regarding the Rock Vault’s present status as a co-owner of these copyrights and therefore no basis for the declaratory relief sought in Rock Vault’s lawsuit.”

The statement said Kershenbaum’s demand letter’s was in reality a request for an accounting, which he believes will show that he is owed more than $100,000 in unpaid profits, royalties and other distributions as a result of his 50 percent copyright ownership interest in the show, and also serve as a reminder and warning to Rock Vault that Kershenbaum is legally entitled to a pro rata share of all future profits related to Rock Vault’s exploitation of the copyright for the production and the production’s format.

UPDATE (07.05.16)

Mr Kershenbaum’s attorney Cory Baskin has now informed us “On May 5, 2016, the lawsuit was dismissed, with prejudice, following an undisclosed settlement between the parties.”

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