the judge Complaints about the proposed settlement reached in Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab’s (MoFi) class action lawsuit, which stemmed from a major music fan controversy last year, were dismissed.
Last summer, MoFi came under fire for its “Original Master Recording” and “Ultradisc One Step” vinyl series, which the company said were made from either original master recordings or analog tapes. But in July 2022, a Phoenix-based record store owner shared a video to YouTube claiming that MoFi does indeed use digital files to make its records.
Despite having some initial backtracking, the engineers at MoFi eventually confirmed the claims, sending shock waves through recording-collecting circuits. Albums made from analog tapes or original master recordings are better than those that incorporate digital files into the mastering process because the former is as close to the original audio recording as possible. A class action lawsuit filed in August 2022 argued that even the most advanced, high-quality analog-to-digital transfers “reduce quality and collectability compared to analog recordings”.
Earlier this year, MoFi and the plaintiffs reached a settlement expected to be worth around $25 million that offers customers a few ways to compensate: They can get a full refund of any eligible records they purchased or keep the albums and get 5% cash back. Redeem or cash back 10% of your MoFi credit. (Why would some want a partial refund? Audio quality concerns notwithstanding, it was noted in court documents that many of these MoFi versions now “have a secondary market value beyond their original purchase price.”)
After the settlement was reached, a few of the plaintiffs filed a petition complaining that the deal was unfair and provided “inadequate relief.” They also debated the lawyers hired to negotiate the settlement, claiming that the proposed settlement was the product of a “reverse auction” — essentially claiming that MoFi looked for “passive” class attorneys who just wanted to be paid and would negotiate a more favorable agreement. Colony.
However, the judge supervising the case rejected all the pleadings of the intervening parties. Describing the proposed settlement itself as “fair, adequate, and reasonable,” he said there was no evidence of collusion by the “reverse auctioneer” with the attorneys who negotiated with the Treasury Department (and that the fees they collected “did not appear to be excessively generous or disproportionate to the relief intended for the dismissal). .”)
MoFi’s principal advisor, Joseph J. Madonia rolling Stone wrote, “As always, MoFi continues its commitment to providing the best possible audio recordings and listening experience. We appreciate the court’s decision of no collusion, improper activity, or reverse auction to reach a very fair settlement.”
Duncan C. Turner, the class attorney who negotiated the settlement with MoFi, shared a statement with him Rolling StoneWe are pleased that Judge Robart has granted preliminary approval for our settlement of the intervenors’ objections. There was no substance to the made-up collusion story of the intervenors. The terms of the settlement are sound and fair, so we will direct our attention to implementing the notice program and obtaining compensation for the class members.”
Lawyers for those involved did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This story was updated 5/12/23 @ 12:48pm ET with a statement from MoFi’s attorneys.