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Following A Fiery Controversy, Legal Issues Mount For Universal Music

After a New York Times investigation was published last week, "dozens" of artists and estates are contemplating filing suits. UMG's head has pledged "transparency" — 11 years after the fire.
The late Tom Petty, playing on the Isle of Wight in England in 2012. According to a recent New York Times investigation, master recordings by Petty may have been destroyed in a 2008 fire. Source: Samir Hussein

A previously underreported fire at a California amusement park in June 2008 — and allegations of an ensuing coverup — could potentially upend the future of the world's biggest record company.

A massive New York Times Magazine investigation, written by Jody Rosen and titled "The Day the Music Burned," was published on June 11. It alleges that a blaze at a backlot of Universal Studios Hollywood — where Universal Music Group [UMG] stored many of its most artistically valuable materials in a 22,000-square-foot warehouse — destroyed hundreds of thousands of irreplaceable recordings and other materials made by and for many of the 20th century's greatest musicians, from Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington to the Eagles and Tom Petty to Nirvana and Tupac Shakur.

The also alleges

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