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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. Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles. What are some of the key issues? See my piece in The Hollywood Reporter for details. _.

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!,”

SAG/AFTRA Members: Will your dues go up or down? Now you can tell.

Digital Media Law

There's been a lot of discussion about how dues will change if SAG and AFTRA merge, but no one's made it easy for you to know exactly what will happen to your own. Whether you're SAG-only or a dual cardholder (or if you're AFTRA-only or even a broadcaster), the graph will show you exactly what will happen to your dues if merger passes. _.

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. The emphasis on health and retirement is probably heightened by the dynamic of SAG-AFTRA merger.

AFTRA Retirement Board Sues JP Morgan Chase

Digital Media Law

Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles. 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.

SAG National Board Unanimously Moves Towards Merger with AFTRA

Digital Media Law

After at least two failed attempts, decades of discussion, recent year marked by acrimony and then reconciliation, the game is once again afoot, as Holmes would say: SAG and AFTRA are moving decisively closer to merger. Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles.

SAG, AFTRA Give Up First-Class Travel

Digital Media Law

Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles. Actors will be flying business class and sometimes coach as part of the unions' new deal with the studios. Details in my THR piece. -. Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” due out next month.

SAG/AFTRA Negotiations Almost Unraveled at 'Perilous Moments'

Digital Media Law

Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles. An exclusive look inside the bargaining room of last Sunday's deal that insiders say went right down to the wire. Details in my Hollywood Reporter piece. -. Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” due out next month.

SAG/AFTRA Deadline Passes Without Deal With AMPTP

Digital Media Law

Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles. Negotiations continue into the weekend and possibly beyond. Details in my THR piece. -. Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” due out next month. Check out my residuals chart there too.

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. So, AFTRA’s reach is growing in network primetime scripted programming. Maybe so.

AFTRA Investigation Finds No Misconduct by Board Member Over SAGWatch Site

Digital Media Law

Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles. The union's outside counsel determines that David Browde did not violate non-disparagement or confidentiality rules and is not an owner or editor of the site. Details: The Hollywood Reporter.

AFTRA employees sign new pact

Digital Media Law

Details: my Hollywood Reporter article. ——————— Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” due out next month. Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles. Tags: Labor Unions AFTRA Check out my residuals chart there too.

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

Digital Media Law

For more on this innovative production and its challenges, click through to my article in The Hollywood Reporter. Courtesy Heretick Theatre Lab.

SAG-AFTRA Commercials Update

Digital Media Law

Small moves by each side, but movement nonetheless, characterizes the ongoing commercials contract negotiations being held in New York between SAG and AFTRA jointly and the advertising industry, according to a source close to the talks. Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Huffington Post articles.

SAG-AFTRA Joint Bargaining: AFTRA Hesitates, Slightly; and More

Digital Media Law

An AFTRA committee, expected to recommend joint bargaining with SAG, instead referred the matter to a subcommittee, the Hollywood Reporter and The Wrap reported. Curious about details, I contacted a source close to AFTRA. SAG and AFTRA declined to comment.) AFTRA wants to develop a framework that it would be comfortable with.

AFTRA Board Approves Joint Bargaining With SAG

Digital Media Law

At a videoconference meeting today in New York and LA, AFTRA’s national board unanimously voted to approve joint bargaining with SAG for the Primetime Television Contract and the SAG TV/theatrical contract. The AFTRA press release is below. ——————— Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about entertainment law and digital media law.

DGA to Negotiate on SAG & AFTRA's Heels

Digital Media Law

The Directors Guild announced on its website today that it will begin negotiations with the AMPTP (studio alliance) in mid-November, which is immediately after the scheduled end of 45 days of negotiation between the AMPTP and SAG (Screen Actors Guild) & AFTRA (a smaller performers union). SAG, AFTRA and the AMPTP declined to comment.

SAG-AFTRA Ad Deal Done

Digital Media Law

SAG and AFTRA jointly reached a deal late last night with the advertising industry, retaining the current lucrative compensation structure for broadcast network commercials, and largely resisting the industry’s attempt to reduce pension and health contributions. The joint SAG-AFTRA press release is below. Score one for labor. Dunn, Jr.,

Pilot Season 94% AFTRA

Digital Media Law

66 out of 70 TV pilots this year will be shot under AFTRA jurisdiction, reports the Hollywood Reporter today. That’s 94% for AFTRA and only 6% for SAG. Meanwhile, I’ve been told somewhat different numbers that calculate out to about 87% AFTRA. Who’s to credit for this development? raise since June 30 of last year.

SAG Moves towards Joint Bargaining with AFTRA

Digital Media Law

The SAG National Board yesterday passed a resolution, by a surprising 82% to 18% vote, directing the guild’s president and National Executive Director to “seek engagement with AFTRA in a joint bargaining agreement for negotiation of the Television/Theatrical Contract,” as quoted in a SAG press release. Tags: Phase I AFTRA SAG

TV Series Pickups Favor AFTRA 5 to 1

Digital Media Law

Several months ago, we learned that pilot season this year was 94% AFTRA (or 87% by some calculations), a complete 180 from its usual 90% SAG. The AP is reporting that 25 out of 30 shows picked up by broadcast networks this spring were AFTRA and just five were SAG. Tags: AFTRA television Membership First SAG

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SAG/AFTRA Merger Details Hinted

Digital Media Law

Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles. SAG may seek to merge the unions prior to the pension and health plans; completion in 2011 may be the SAG goal. Details in my Hollywood Reporter piece. -. Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” due out next month.

SAG, AFTRA Meet About Merger

Digital Media Law

Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles. Read it in The Hollywood Reporter. -. Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” due out next month. Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about entertainment law and digital media law.

Three Membership First Candidates Elected to AFTRA Boards

Digital Media Law

The AFTRA Los Angeles results are in. Many candidates were reelected, but new winners include two Membership First leaders—SAG 1 st VP Anne-Marie Johnson (AFTRA national board) and former SAG Hollywood Board member David Jolliffe (AFTRA Los Angeles local board)—as well as Membership First member Alan Ruck (AFTRA national board).

SAG-AFTRA Joint Board Approves Studio Deal

Digital Media Law

Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles. A ballot referendum recommending ratification will soon go out to members, for return by mid-January. Details: The Hollywood Reporter. Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” due out next month.

AFTRA Endorses IATSE 'Biggest Loser' Organizing Campaign

Digital Media Law

Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles. The union issued an unequivocal statement of support. Details in my Hollywood Reporter piece. -. Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” due out next month. Check out my residuals chart there too.

SAG/AFTRA and DGA Schedule Details Emerge

Digital Media Law

Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles. Timing of ballots and negotiations disclosed. Details in my Hollywood Reporter piece. -. Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” due out next month. Check out my residuals chart there too.

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. Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles. Details: The Hollywood Reporter. _.

AMPTP 22

WGA, IATSE Weigh in on SAG/AFTRA Deal

Digital Media Law

Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles. Writers and crew unions join DGA in congratulating the actors on their tentative agreement. Details in my THR piece. -. Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” due out next month. Check out my residuals chart there too.

DGA 2

SAG-AFTRA Ratify Advertising Agreement; SAG Townhall Features Fireworks

Digital Media Law

SAG and AFTRA announced yesterday that their combined paid-up membership, about 132,000 members, overwhelmingly ratified the contracts between the unions and the advertising industry. The key difference is the contract expiration date, which in the current deal is synchronized with the WGA, AFTRA and DGA (mid-2011). Well, why not?

Hollywood Labor: SAG Source Says a Strike Unlikely, Joint SAG-AFTRA Bargaining Likely; and the Year Ahead

Digital Media Law

The source also said SAG’s upcoming January 31 national board meeting will probably feature a move towards resurrecting joint bargaining with AFTRA, adding that he/she was confident that bargaining later this year would indeed be jointly conducted. AFTRA reached agreement on its current deal by June 30, 2008, and received a 3.5%

SAG Hardliners: The Trojan Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Digital Media Law

SAG’s Hollywood branch, dominated by the hardline Membership First faction, has passed a motion forming a task force to explore “acquisition of actors of AFTRA,” reports SAGWatch. Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Huffington Post articles. singers and others, but not actors.

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. Will AFTRA be a part of those negotiations?

SAG Commercials Negotiations Process Advances

Digital Media Law

The SAG-AFTRA commercials contract seems to be suffering little of the turbulence afflicting the long-expired SAG TV/theatrical contract. The SAG and AFTRA Commercials Contracts will be bargained under the terms of the Phase One Agreement that applies to the Commercials Contracts negotiations only. Tags: SAG Commercials AFTRA

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. Not necessarily.

April 18: Moral Rights Symposium at U.S. Copyright Office/George Mason Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property

Music Technology Policy

These are recognized in the Berne Convention (Article 6bis for those reading along).

Hollywood Labor: The Tyranny of Time

Digital Media Law

So with the SAG-AFTRA negotiations upon us, let’s look at what the 2010-2011 bargaining cycle has in store. SAG and AFTRA The SAG and AFTRA negotiations with the AMPTP (studio alliance) begin on Monday the 27 th , less than a week away. So, SAG and AFTRA are already in a difficult place on those issues.

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SAG Stalemate Update

Digital Media Law

What is known is that the SAG and AFTRA boards will spend part of the weekend meeting jointly to review the proposed commercials contract , a deal reached earlier this month between the two unions and the ad industry. MF candidates in the upcoming AFTRA elections, in addition to Johnson and Jolliffe, include Steven Barr and David Clennon.

No More Sounds of Silence on the Music Composition Front?

Digital Media Law

In other audible union news, AFTRA recently approved its interactive (i.e., Despite concerns with some aspects of the contract, that's unfortunate for SAG, because I'm told this sector is only about 25% unionized (AFTRA numbers + SAG's). That means that video game companies can easily move over to AFTRA - or go nonunion.

Is SAG Becoming Irrelevant?

Digital Media Law

The resulting 2012 expiration date means that SAG would not be able to threaten a joint strike in 2011 with the WGA (let alone AFTRA) when those unions’ contracts expire. Also in the news is a stunning report from the Hollywood Reporter that this year’s pilot season will be more than two-thirds AFTRA.