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

‘The Noir Series’ harkens back to the days of live TV but presents a thoroughly modern challenge to entertainment unions Bad Medicine,'' a segment from ''The Noir Series,'' features a chain-smoking doctor and two disconcerting nurses. Courtesy Heretick Theatre Lab.

VFX Town Hall Meeting Urges Trade Association and Union

Digital Media Law

Normal. false. false. false. However, panelists also acknowledged the difficulty of achieving either goal. Pi Day – a multi-city international meeting of VFX artists – took place Thursday evening amid rising concern about the state of the industry.

"Hollywood on Strike" Book Available on Amazon!

Digital Media Law

My book is finally available on Amazon: Coming soon - "Look Inside the Book" and a Kindle edition. _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” available at https://www.createspace.com/3344392 (use limited-time code JL886NCV for 20% off) and on Amazon. Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about entertainment law and digital media law. Check out my residuals chart there too. Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email.

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. For a detailed breakdown -- and a graph that encompasses earnings from $0 to $250K, see The Hollywood Reporter. 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. _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,”

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

Digital Media Law

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. Yes, Laurel Canyon, long a home to musicians and other entertainment industry folk, is also the home of two Mini Mancha dairy goats, Snowflake and Pumpkin. But not for long. “I I like Laurel Canyon,” says Elaine, “but not LA.”

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!,” available at https://www.createspace.com/3344392 (use limited-time code JL886NCV for 20% off) and due out on Amazon this month. Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about entertainment law and digital media law. Check out my residuals chart there too.

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. Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email. Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles.

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. The producer of the biopic about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton denies any violations or knowledge of union inquiries.

IATSE 22

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. What does this have to do with the subject of this blog? Nothing, but when you think up a headline too good to be true, you have to go with it.

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. Notably, the union achieved the H&R increase without employers taking a bite out of the annual wage increase.

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. In both sets of suits, the issue is the same: under license and distribution agreements, can cable companies allow their customers to add another screen to their home viewing options: an iPad?

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. Also speaking out in recent weeks against the law is a completely different constituency: groups concerned that the broadly-drafted act would endanger U.S.

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!,” available on Amazon (also in a Kindle edition). Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about entertainment law and digital media law.

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.” The dispute centers on the use of recorded music as a substitute for some of the 18 or 19 live musicians generally required under the union contract for Broadway musicals.

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. Free RSVP requested at [link]. _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” available on Amazon (also in a Kindle edition).

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.

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. Reservations requested but not required: click here (and scroll down) for reservations, directions, parking info, etc. --.

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. Check out my residuals chart there too. Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email.

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). Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about entertainment law and digital media law. Check out my residuals chart there too. Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email.

AMPTP 22

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). The book tells the story of the 2007-2009 Hollywood labor unrest - the Writers Guild strike and Screen Actors Guild stalemate.

"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. The book chronicles the 2007-2009 Hollywood labor disturbances – the WGA strike and the SAG stalemate – and tries to make sense of them.

SAG 21

Musicians Union Pickets Marvel Over Runaway ‘Avengers’ Score

Digital Media Law

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). Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about entertainment law and digital media law. Check out my residuals chart there too.

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. The WGA East slammed a “system that has diverted capital (to) a tiny handful of people,” while the LA County Fed called out "corporate bullies, banks and investment firms.". Details: The Hollywood Reporter -- LA County Fed story ; WGA East story. _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,”

WGA Sends Studio Deal to Members

Digital Media Law

The ratification vote will take place in April, before the existing contract's May 1 expiration. Details: The Hollywood Reporter. On a separate note, I will be speaking at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles on April 12 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the school's "A Conversation With" series. The subject is "The Past, Present and Future of Hollywood Unions." I'll also be discussing my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” available on Amazon (also in a Kindle edition).

"Hollywood on Strike" Update

Digital Media Law

In a strange twist, the book is now available on Kindle - but only on Amazon UK! The vagaries of Amazon. Americans can't buy from the UK store, so don't rush over across the virtual pond. But it should be available soon in Kindle in the U.S., and also on Google books (compatible with Nook, apparently). And, of course, the paperback is available on Amazon U.S. and Createspace (see below). Also coming soon: the "Look Inside the Book" feature and some editorial reviews. _.

Results of Writers Guild 'Pattern of Demands' Vote Still Unknown

Digital Media Law

Balloting closed Jan. 24 on the wide-ranging outline of negotiating priorities, but the guild has not yet announced the results of the vote. Details: The Hollywood Reporter. _. 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. Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email.

SAG Continues Down Path to Merger with AFTRA

Digital Media Law

The union’s board allocates additional funding for task force working on merger; SAG president Ken Howard praises yesterday’s AFTRA resolution regarding merger. Details: 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. Check out my residuals chart there too. Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email.

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. _. 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. Check out my residuals chart there too.

WGA East Executive Director Optimistic on Guild Negotiating Goals

Digital Media Law

Lowell Peterson also confirms that there is no date set for negotiations. See The Hollywood Reporter exclusive. _. 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. Check out my residuals chart there too. Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email. Or, follow me on Twitter , friend me on Facebook , or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles.

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 the company’s valuation, not the price of a ride) and Google’s driverless cars (development cost unknown), and I decided it was time to connect the dots: once a car learns to drive, there’s no need to own it and there’s no need for a driver.

CAA 9

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. The book is the product of hundreds of hours of research and of compilation of search results from almost twenty databases.

Canadian Talent Consultant Charged in Alleged Actor Visa Scam

Digital Media Law

Normal. 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. false. false. false. Boryski is charged with 32 counts; “this suspect, who’s an aspiring actor himself, has landed a role in a real life crime drama” says a federal agent. Normal. false. false. false.

'Hobbit' Affair Still Rankles NZ Unions

Digital Media Law

Normal. 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. Meanwhile, the government continues to resist publicly disclosing a key legal report, despite having apparently provided copies to Warner Bros.

New York SAG Election Becoming a Tinderbox

Digital Media Law

Tom Hanks and Alec Baldwin endorse USAN, while OSU issues a bill of particulars and personal attacks fly in all directions. With both factions pro-merger, members wonder why they’re fighting. 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. Check out my residuals chart there too.

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. The move today was SAG’s, whose national board has now unanimously established a merger taskforce to work with AFTRA to develop “a formal plan to unite SAG and AFTRA members in one union,” in the words of a SAG statement.

Hollywood on Strike! Now on Kindle

Digital Media Law

My book Hollywood on Strike! is now available on Kindle ([link] as well as paperback ([link] (those are links to Amazon). _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” available at https://www.createspace.com/3344392 (use limited-time code JL886NCV for 20% off) and on Amazon (also in a Kindle edition). Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about entertainment law and digital media law. Check out my residuals chart there too. Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email.

WGA Sends Out 'Pattern of Demands' Seeking Major Contract Improvements

Digital Media Law

Goals include increases in minimums, pension and health, home video residuals and new media reuse, and revamps of pitching process. Details: 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. Check out my residuals chart there too. Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email.

Comcast Writers Overwhelmingly Vote for WGA in Unofficial Secret Ballot

Digital Media Law

About 3/4 of eligible writers voted in an unusual procedure supervised by LA City Council president Eric Garcetti, meant to draw attention to labor issue. Details: 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. Check out my residuals chart there too. Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email.