Digital Media Law

It’s a Play! It’s Live Internet TV! It’s Both, and it Opens in Los Angeles on Friday

Digital Media Law

Courtesy Heretick Theatre Lab. But will Actors’ Equity, the union that governs live theatre?

How Do We Know Driverless Cars Are Safe? Google Says ‘Trust Us’

Digital Media Law

Google has predicted 2017 for first commercial availability, while Nissan and Mercedes say it will be 2020. But how will we know they’re safe? Really?

VFX Town Hall Meeting Urges Trade Association and Union

Digital Media Law

Normal. 0. false. false. false. However, panelists also acknowledged the difficulty of achieving either goal. They seemingly want to effect change.”.

2030 May Be The Year They’ll Take Your Driver's License Away

Digital Media Law

I was stuck in traffic yesterday, which I didn’t really mind because I have a fun little yellow convertible, and I was thinking about Uber ($17 billion! That’s because the car can come when called, take you to your destination, then go off and pick up someone else. In other words, Google is engineering all of us right out of the driver’s seat.

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Homeless Military Widow: “My heart is sad for my teenager”

Digital Media Law

Cindy Kureth just wants a job and a place to call home. She had both not long ago, but she got laid off, unemployment ran out, and the mortgage company took her home. Now all the Richmond, Virginia mother has is a motel room for herself and her 16-year old son. That, and memories of her husband, former Army Major Elwood Kureth, Jr., He did.

Health and Retirement are the Hangup in AFTRA Netcode Negotiations (Exclusive)

Digital Media Law

AFTRA’s negotiations with the networks and television producers resume this week and the big issue, according to a source close to the process, is the same one that’s bedeviled Hollywood labor for the past several years: health and retirement. Negotiations began November 7 under a press blackout, but haven’t produced a deal yet.

AFTRA Moves Closer to Merger With SAG

Digital Media Law

For the first time, the union’s national board votes on the current merger attempt, passing a key resolution “overwhelmingly”; the measure includes a statement that AFTRA leadership is “encouraged by the renewed interest expressed by SAG’s current leadership.”. Details: The Hollywood Reporter. _. Check out my residuals chart there too.

Musicians Union Pickets Marvel Over Runaway ‘Avengers’ Score

Digital Media Law

Details: The Hollywood Reporter. Check out “Hollywood on Strike!,” available on Amazon in pb and Kindle. Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about entertainment labor. You can also follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook. If you work in tech, take a look at my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets

The Laurel Canyon Goats are Leaving!

Digital Media Law

There comes a point in everyone’s life when it’s time to gather one’s herd and leave the hustle and bustle of the big city. For Elaine and Michael Fresco, that time is now. And although the herd in question numbers only two, they’re much beloved – and they’re goats. Check back soon for photos of the goats.) Has anyone seen them?” Somebody had.

WGA, AMPTP Reach New Three-Year Deal

Digital Media Law

The tentative pact, which is in line with deals reached by SAG, AFTRA and the DGA, provides for 2% annual wage increases but also keeps network primetime residuals at current rates. Details: The Hollywood Reporter. _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” available on Amazon (also in a Kindle edition). Check out my residuals chart there too.

"Hollywood on Strike!" Book Available Soon

Digital Media Law

Great news – my new book, “Hollywood on Strike!: An Industry at War in the Internet Age” will be out in just a few weeks. But why?

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Agenda for the SAG-AFTRA Merger Effort

Digital Media Law

There's a strong case for merging SAG and AFTRA but there are numerous hurdles to overcome as well. What are some of the key issues? See my piece in The Hollywood Reporter for details. _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about entertainment law and digital media law.

SAG's David White to Speak on Digital Issues

Digital Media Law

The Feb. 17 talk is hosted by Town Hall Los Angeles. Details: Hollywood Reporter. Note: tix are $49-$65. _. Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” due out this month. Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about entertainment law and digital media law. Check out my residuals chart there too.

Unions Investigating 'Liz & Dick' after Lindsay Lohan, Crew Allegedly Overworked

Digital Media Law

Two prominent Hollywood unions are investigating the Lifetime movie Liz & Dick, The HollywoodReporter (exclusive) has learned, with the moves coming in the wake of reports over the weekend that star Lindsay Lohan suffered from “exhaustion and dehydration” from overwork and that two crew members went to the hospital for the same reason.

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Snowe Rains on Republicans' Parade

Digital Media Law

Olympia Snowe, a moderate Republican who's represented Maine in the Senate since 1994, announced today that she won't seek reelection in November, citing polarization in Washington as the reason. Her retirement, coming from a state where Democrats hold a registration edge, is a blow to the GOP and puts the seat in play.

AFTRA, Networks Reach New Three Year Deal

Digital Media Law

AFTRA and the television networks reached agreement on a new three-year contract today, with the new pact featuring now-standard 2% annual wage increases and an unusually large 1% increase in employer contributions to health and retirement. Details: The Hollywood Reporter. _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,”

A “New” Entertainment Union - And a Possible Name

Digital Media Law

AFTRA is interested in merger with the Screen Actors Guild, but not if the effort is going to fail again. So we learn from an article appearing in the just-mailed Spring 2010 issue of AFTRA Magazine. Joining SAG and AFTRA to create a single union is essential to performers’ maximizing their power. It’s undoubtedly an idea whose time has come.”

Silly Lawsuit Against SAG Dismissed; and More

Digital Media Law

Remember the lawsuit that former SAG president Alan Rosenberg and three other Membership First members (1st VP Anne-Marie Johnson and board members Diane Ladd and Kent McCord) filed against their own union? You may have blissfully forgotten this misbegotten legal action, filed a year and a half ago (!), but the courts haven’t. Or maybe not.

The Anti-SAG Lawsuit That Won't Quite Die

Digital Media Law

Remember the lawsuit filed by then-SAG president Alan Rosenberg, 1st VP Anne-Marie-Johnson and board members Diane Ladd and Kent McCord against their own Guild? That's the suit that got dismissed for the umpteenth time last month. Turns out that there's some unfinished business. SAG's lawyers filed a motion for court costs, in the amount of $834.44.

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How to Settle the Viacom iPad Lawsuits Now

Digital Media Law

Back in April, Viacom and Time Warner Cable sued each other; then last month Viacom sued Cablevision. Interestingly, that came just a day after Viacom and TWC filed a standstill agreement so that they could negotiate without the pressure of ongoing court deadlines. Details: The Hollywood Reporter. _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,”

Venture Capitalists and Rx Activists Speak Out Against the PROTECT IP Act

Digital Media Law

Opposition to the PROTECT IP Act – Hollywood-supported legislation intended to reduce content piracy and block counterfeit goods – is growing among the tech community, with a letter blasting the bill released Thursday by more than fifty venture capitalists from forty firms that have funded many top Internet companies.

Read the Feed!

Digital Media Law

I won't be posting much directly to my blog for the time being. However, look on the right-hand column and you'll see a feed from the Labor page which I curate (and mostly write) on The Hollywood Reporter website. You can also follow that feed directly at [link] or via Twitter at [link]. Thanks! _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,”

Broadway Musicians' Union Sounds Off About Recorded Music

Digital Media Law

The fur – and feather boas – are flying in New York, where the Broadway musicians’ union is waging what the New York Times in a story Sunday calls “an unusually aggressive, political-style campaign” against the producers of the musical “Priscilla Queen of the Desert.” Details: The Hollywood Reporter. _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,”

Exclusive: WGA East and LA County AFL-CIO Endorse Occupy Wall Steet / Occupy LA

Digital Media Law

In exclusive statements to the Hollywood Reporter, the Writers Guild of America, East and the LA County Federation of Labor have endorsed the Occupy protests in NY, LA and elsewhere. Details: The Hollywood Reporter -- LA County Fed story ; WGA East story. _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” Check out my residuals chart there too.

Reminder - "Hollywood on Strike!" Book Party Tomoroow (Sat)

Digital Media Law

A reminder - I'm having a book party/signing on Saturday (tomorrow), from 1:00-3:00, at the Showbiz Store & Cafe, 500 S. Sepulveda Blvd, LA 90049 (one or two miles north of Wilshire, along the 405). Food and beverages will be available for purchase, and one lucky attendee will win a copy of Final Draft AV, courtesy of Final Draft, Inc.

AFTRA Retirement Board Sues JP Morgan Chase

Digital Media Law

The retirement plan is said to have lost $2-3 million because of an alleged breach of fiduciary duty by the bank. And when the entity collapsed, alleges the suit, the bank actually profited, even though its clients lost money. Details: The Hollywood Reporter. _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” Check out my residuals chart there too.

Handel to be Featured Guest at Southwestern Law School

Digital Media Law

This Tuesday, April 12, I'll be the guest at Southwestern Law School's "A Conversation with" series and will be speaking on "The Past, Present and Future of Hollywood Unions." The program starts at 7:30 and lasts about an hour, followed by a reception. The event is free, open to the public, and offers one hour of CLE credit for attorneys.

WGA Ballots on the Way

Digital Media Law

The WGA deal reached last month is on its way to the membership for a ratification vote – ballots are in the mail. Details: The Hollywood Reporter. _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” available on Amazon (also in a Kindle edition). Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about entertainment law and digital media law.

Now on Sale - "Hollywood on Strike!" (limited-time 20% discount)

Digital Media Law

My new book is finally out and is available now at https://www.createspace.com/3344392 (paperback $27.95)! >>> For a limited time, use code JL886NCV on Createspace for 20% off. And, unlike Amazon, Createspace charges no tax for Calif. orders. It will also be available within a few days on Amazon (paperback $27.95, Kindle $9.95).

Pilots Overwhelmingly AFTRA Again

Digital Media Law

About 60 pilots for scripted network primetime programs will be shot under AFTRA contracts this year, while few – or perhaps none – will be produced under SAG jurisdiction, according to sources close to the two unions, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Maybe so. So, AFTRA’s reach is growing in network primetime scripted programming.

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Teamsters, studios fail to break stalemate

Digital Media Law

Talks between the studios and Hollywood Teamsters Local 399 ended late Friday night with no movement and no new negotiating sessions scheduled. The union meets in Burbank early Sunday morning, where the leadership is expected to seek – and obtain – a strike authorization vote from members. Check out my residuals chart there too.

Transportation strike could paralyze Hollywood

Digital Media Law

Believe it or not, Hollywood may be headed for another work stoppage in just two weeks. In 2007-2008, the Writers Guild struck, shuttering television and film production. In 2008-2009, a Screen Actors Guild stalemate lingered for almost a year, shutting down primarily film production. For details, see my exclusive Hollywood Reporter story.

Basic Cable Clarification & Details

Digital Media Law

In yesterday’s post regarding the schedule for this cycle’s negotiations, I said that SAG and AFTRA would be jointly negotiating basic cable starting on November 7. Sources close to AFTRA and SAG have corrected me on this—and provided more details. My take on this was based on a misreading of a SAG press release from 11 days ago.

New book - Entertainment Labor: An Interdisciplinary Bibliography

Digital Media Law

A must-have for academics, union staff and attorneys working in entertainment labor, ENTERTAINMENT LABOR: An Interdisciplinary Bibliography is a 345 page annotated bibliography of over 1,500 books, articles, dissertations, legal cases and other resources dealing with entertainment unions and guilds and various other aspects of entertainment labor.

Live on Larry Mantle re SAG-AFTRA Merger

Digital Media Law

I'll be live on Larry Mantle ( [link] ) this morning at about 11:05 a.m. PT for a 14 minute segment on SAG-AFTRA merger. Tune in (is that still the verb?) if you have a chance. It'll probably be available archived as well. _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” available on Amazon (also in a Kindle edition).

Canadian Talent Consultant Charged in Alleged Actor Visa Scam

Digital Media Law

Normal. 0. false. false. false. Actor Andrew Boryski was charged with multiple criminal counts for cheating aspiring actors out of thousands of dollars in an immigration visa scam, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office said Thursday in a press release. Normal. 0. false. false. false. Normal. 0. false. false. false. Details: The Hollywood Reporter.

Rosenberg v. SAG Lawsuit Dismissed

Digital Media Law

The lawsuit filed 1-1/2 years ago by SAG's then-president Alan Rosenberg against his own union has finally been dismissed, according to court records and a source with knowledge of the matter. The dismissal actually came several weeks ago, but appears not to have previously been reported. Check out my residuals chart there too.

Aereo to Face Uphill Battle in Supreme Court Next Week, Experts Say (analysis)

Digital Media Law

Next week’s Supreme Court argument will be difficult for cable-competitor Aereo, legal experts agree, as the company faces off against not just broadcasters but also the influential U.S. Solicitor General’s office and the Copyright Office. For a detailed analysis, see more at The Hollywood Reporter.

'Hobbit' Affair Still Rankles NZ Unions

Digital Media Law

Normal. 0. false. false. false. As fans of The Hobbit scanned the red carpet at the film’s premiere in Wellington last night, some New Zealand activists are still bitter about the outcome of a failed unionization attempt in 2010, even as NZ Actors Equity is finally making progress in negotiations with the country’s producers association.

SAG National Executive Director Firing – How it Went Down

Digital Media Law

The SAG board’s moderate majority fired National Executive Director Doug Allen today by using a document signed by board members and called a “written assent.” Much to my surprise, Allen chose not to fight and instead emailed the SAG staff acknowledging that he had been terminated and saying goodbye. copy of the email is below. See below.