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. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets What are some of the key issues? See my piece in The Hollywood Reporter for details. _. available at https://www.createspace.com/3344392 (use limited-time code JL886NCV for 20% off) and due out on Amazon this month.

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. _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” If you work in tech, take a look at my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets

"Hollywood on Strike!" Book Available Soon

Digital Media Law

Great news – my new book, “Hollywood on Strike!: The book chronicles the 2007-2009 Hollywood labor disturbances – the WGA strike and the SAG stalemate – and tries to make sense of them. It’s a big book – about 477 pages of text plus another hundred pages of reference material.

SAG 21

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.”. Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets

SAG's David White to Speak on Digital Issues

Digital Media Law

Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets The Feb. 17 talk is hosted by Town Hall Los Angeles. Details: Hollywood Reporter. Note: tix are $49-$65. _. 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.

New York SAG Election Becoming a Tinderbox

Digital Media Law

Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” If you work in tech, take a look at my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets 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. _. available on Amazon (also in a Kindle edition).

SAG, AFTRA Give Up First-Class Travel

Digital Media Law

Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets Actors will be flying business class and sometimes coach as part of the unions' new deal with the studios. Details in my THR piece. -. 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.

SAG Elects Ned Vaughn 1st National VP

Digital Media Law

Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets Election completes moderate, pro-merger sweep. For details, see my THR piece. -. 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.

SAG Manager Investigated for Embezzlement of Unclaimed Residuals

Digital Media Law

Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets Two employees were discharged, one for possible embezzlement of $200,000-$250,000 and the other for violation of policies. An outside probe is ongoing. Details: The Hollywood Reporter. 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.

SAG/AFTRA Negotiations Almost Unraveled at 'Perilous Moments'

Digital Media Law

Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets 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. -. 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.

SAG/AFTRA Deadline Passes Without Deal With AMPTP

Digital Media Law

Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets Negotiations continue into the weekend and possibly beyond. Details in my THR piece. -. 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.

SAG Negotiated with WB to Lift 'Hobbit' Boycott

Digital Media Law

Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets The guild’s role in New Zealand dispute had been previously unknown. For details, see my THR piece. -. 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.

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. If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets. Tags: SAG The dismissal actually came several weeks ago, but appears not to have previously been reported.

SAG President’s Anti-SAG Suit Continues

Digital Media Law

For those who like keeping up with legal dockets, SAG a few days ago filed its Respondent’s Brief in the appeals court case that stems from the lawsuit filed by SAG president Alan Rosenberg and three other Membership First hardliners (1st VP Anne-Marie Johnson and board members Diane Ladd and Kent McCord) against their own union. If you work in tech, check out my new book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets. Tags: Labor Unions Membership First SAG

SAG’s Strange Voyage

Digital Media Law

It was as though 5757 Wilshire, SAG’s national headquarters, somehow disappeared into the black hole that features so prominently in (spoiler alert) the latest “Star Trek” movie. Last week, SAG’s Hollywood board, controlled by the hardline Membership First faction, passed a resolution establishing a task force “to explore the acquisition of actors of AFTRA.” Unfortunately, SAG’s governance structure ensures that there will always be too many starship captains on the bridge at once.

SAG Stalemate Update

Digital Media Law

Causing the stalemate is the issue of contract expiration date rather than new media; there’s talk of a trade-off between this issue and the (unrelated) SAG demand for force majeure payments per the previous SAG agreement. The SAG Board is meeting this weekend, and Variety suggests a proposed TV/theatrical deal might be presented to the Board then. Tags: strike Labor Unions AFTRA AMPTP Membership First SAG The Screen Actors Guild stalemate grinds on.

SAG Feels its Own Labor Pains

Digital Media Law

Labor unrest is hitting SAG close to home. Negotiations between the actors guild and Teamsters Local 986, which represents more than 40 of SAG's Los Angeles-based business representatives, have gotten bumpy. In this negotiation, SAG functions as management, not labor. If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets. Tags: Teamsters SAG

SAG/AFTRA Merger Details Hinted

Digital Media Law

SAG may seek to merge the unions prior to the pension and health plans; completion in 2011 may be the SAG goal. Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets Details in my Hollywood Reporter piece. -. 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.

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

Digital Media Law

Seemingly, the solution adopted by Heretick’s artistic director Jennifer Cotteleer is simple: the production went with a SAG-AFTRA new media contract rather than an Equity agreement. If you work in tech, take a look at my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets

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 ballots went out a few days ago—they’re due back June 9—and SAG’s conducting a series of town hall meetings across the country. SAG politics seem to know no bounds. We chatted briefly about the Star Trek movie, not SAG politics, let alone Trekian essays about SAG politics.

SAG National Board Candidates Announced

Digital Media Law

SAG yesterday released the official list of candidates for its upcoming national board elections. Directors holding nine other national board seats will be elected from SAG Branches outside Hollywood and New York. 2010 SAG Regional Branch Division Board Election Candidates. If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets. Tags: SAG AMPTP Unite for Strength Membership First

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? This is the lawsuit that attempted to reinstate former SAG National Executive Director Doug Allen and undo ratification of the SAG-AMPTP collective bargaining agreement. Today’s judge also awarded court costs to SAG. A noteworthy change in the AFTRA book: Ex.

SAG Board Approves Studio Deal

Digital Media Law

Voting on party lines, a sharply divided SAG board approved the tentative deal with the studios yesterday by a vote of about 53% to 47%. The balloting material will be accompanied by both pro and con statements, and the fight over the deal will be a prelude to SAG’s presidential and board elections, which will commence in July and run through September. In other words—product placement at SAG’s own board meeting!

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). The DGA contract (like those of SAG, AFTRA and the WGA) expires in mid-2011, but the DGA always negotiates early. Hopefully, SAG, AFTRA and the DGA will coordinate their proposals.

Rosenberg v. SAG Lawsuit Reply Brief Filed

Digital Media Law

SAG president Alan Rosenberg and three other Membership First hardliners (1st VP Anne-Marie Johnson and board members Diane Ladd and Kent McCord) filed their reply brief earlier this week. That'll drive up the price to SAG of this nonsense by probably about $5,000 more: I'd imagine several attorneys for a mock practice session for several hours, then two attorneys for oral argument for a half day or so. If you work in tech, check out my new book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets.

SAG Resolution Resolves Little for Film Business

Digital Media Law

With the SAG contract ratified, will the film business finally get back to normal? If you work in tech, check out my new book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets. Tags: film SAG Unfortunately, no. Although we'll see a brief spike in production, the business we once knew may never reappear, for a host of reasons. to read more, see my piece in Variety ——————— Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about entertainment law and digital media law.

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. Because of the lateness of the hour, it was not possible to explore this issue with sources, and a call to a SAG spokesperson was not immediately returned.)

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 move comes a month after SAG’s national board voted, by a tally of 82% to 18%, to “seek engagement with AFTRA in a joint bargaining agreement for negotiation of the Television/Theatrical Contract.” Tags: Phase I AFTRA AMPTP SAG

SAG Files Motion to Dismiss Rosenberg Appeal

Digital Media Law

As you'll recall, several months ago, SAG president Alan Rosenberg and three other hardliners (1st VP Anne-Marie Johnson and board members Diane Ladd and Kent McCord) sued their own union, seeking to enjoin negotiations and reverse personnel and procedural changes that they correctly anticipated would pave the way for a deal on terms the hardliners are pledged to oppose. Several days ago, SAG filed a motion to dismiss the appeal, on the grounds that the appeal is moot.

Report on SAG NY Town Hall Meeting

Digital Media Law

SAG held a town hall meeting in NY last night to provide information re the TV/theatrical contract. It also means that we have probably seen the end of the multitude of pro and con videos deployed on the SAG website, Membership First website, and YouTube. It’s also a small benefit, in that the plaintiffs will have no legal fees to extract from SAG if they were to recover control of the national board. Tags: strike Labor Unions Membership First SAG

SAG & Studios Agree to Tentative Deal

Digital Media Law

The deal will probably be approved by the SAG board today or tomorrow and ratified by the membership by mid-May, but the hardline MembershipFirst faction has vowed to fight the deal, so ratification, although likely, is not assured. In separate news today, the SAG and AFTRA boards meeting jointly approved the commercials contract reached April 1 with the advertising industry. The gain—synchronicity—came at a price to SAG, however. higher than SAG’s.

SAG TV/Theatrical Ballots Later Than Expected; SAG Litigation Continues; and More

Digital Media Law

The ballots for SAG’s recently approved TV/theatrical contract won’t be going out until mid to late May, a source tells me, several weeks later than the early May target that the Guild stated as recently as a week or so ago. Meanwhile, ballots for the commercials contract will be mailed to both SAG and AFTRA members Thursday, and due back May 21, reports Variety. I’m told SAG members will get checks several weeks after the agreement is ratified. get to reply to SAG’s brief).

SAG Lawsuit Still Grinds On; Court Denies SAG’s Motion to Dismiss Appeal

Digital Media Law

As I previously reported , SAG’s counsel in late May filed a motion to dismiss the appeal by SAG president Alan Rosenberg and three other Membership First hardliners (1st VP Anne-Marie Johnson and board members Diane Ladd and Kent McCord) of a Superior Court order that denied their application for a temporary restraining order. SAG’s responsive brief is due July 1. If you work in tech, check out my new book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets.

SAG Hardliners' Picnic No Walk in the Park

Digital Media Law

A beautiful day, a heavily promoted event, yet the SAG faction was only able to draw about 70 people to its Griffith Park / LA Zoo shindig, reports Variety. SAG President Alan Rosenberg, who spoke at the picnic cum rally, predicted “a good chance” of defeat for the pending TV/theatrical deal, but that seems unlikely if MF can only attract a handful of members to an event in LA, considered the group’s stronghold. Tags: strike Labor Unions Membership First SAG

Actors Union SAG-AFTRA and Industry Postpone Commercials Negotiations

Digital Media Law

SAG-AFTRA and the advertising industry have agreed to postpone their previously-scheduled early negotiations of the union’s commercials agreement, the union announced Saturday. If you work in tech, take a look at my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets

SAG Letter re Force Majeure Claims

Digital Media Law

SAG just sent members an email regarding force majeure claims. It's reprinted below. ——————— Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about SAG, or digital media law generally. These claims arise under Section 61(c) of the SAG Television Agreement, which is the provision governing events of force majeure. Tags: union Labor Unions SAG Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email.

SAG, AFTRA Meet About Merger

Digital Media Law

Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets Read it in The Hollywood Reporter. -. 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.

SAG TV/Theatrical Contract Ratified Overwhelmingly, 78%-22%

Digital Media Law

In a stunning defeat for the hardline Membership First faction, SAG's TV/theatrical contract passed overwhelmingly, by a 78%-22% margin (almost 4 to 1), those numbers according to the guild. It's an amazing end to an almost 12 month stalemate, and calls into question the faction's ability to make any headway in the upcoming SAG board elections. Another question is the SAG presidency, which is up this year as well. They’ve obviously got the right ideas for making SAG stronger.”

SAG Executive Director: TV/Theatrical Deal Will Pass

Digital Media Law

The referendum on the proposed contract between SAG and the studios began yesterday, as ballot packets were mailed to about 110,000 paid up members of the Screen Actors Guild. SAG President Alan Rosenberg claims there’s “a good chance” it won’t, but the guild’s interim National Executive Director David White says otherwise, predicting confidently that the deal will pass. Will White be running SAG when that next round comes around? It might help if SAG’s board were smaller.

SAG: Four Hardline Horsemen in the National Board Room

Digital Media Law

Thursday’s SAG election was a victory for the moderate coalition. But with SAG, the story is never simple. Under the SAG Constitution and By-Laws, a national officer can’t also be an elected member of the national board or a Divisional board. So, the day he became president, Howard lost his elected seat on the national and Hollywood boards, and, indeed, his name has been replaced on SAG website listings with “(1 TBD).”