Author: Kyle A. Slowey

Animators to draw $170 million from studios

Disney, its subsidiaries join major studios in big settlement over visual talents’ claims of anti-competitive personnel practices Animators, digital artists, and visual effects specialists for industry-leading companies like Walt Disney, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and Dream Works soon may be walking around with more money jangling in their pocket after the settlement of a sizable class action suit involving these movie-making talents. That’s because Walt Disney Co.—including its subsidiaries Pixar, and Lucas Films— this month became the last major players to agree to a deal to resolve legal claims, with zero admission of wrongdoing, that they had a “no poach” agreement among themselves over hiring the animators and others, including sharing pay information on them. The workers had asserted these all were antitrust violations that reduced competition in the market  and kept down salaries. Disney and its subsidiaries agreed to settle the claims for $100 million. DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Animation and 20th Century Fox’s Blue Sky Studios had settled with the animators earlier for roughly $70 million, sending the combined tab for Hollywood to draw to a close this labor action to nearly $170 million. The claims The creatives accused Disney, Pixar, and Lucas Films of conspiring to fixing wages of animators and other workers by  making “non-solicitation” agreements with each other. Earlier this year, the animators, while pushing for class-certification in their lawsuit, told the court that...

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Talent agency, casting workshops charged

LA City Attorney files raft of Krekorian Act cases Delores White, an Inglewood mom, thought her daughter, “Mia B.,” had star potential. White started working with Network International Models and Talent, a Beverly Hills firm that she hoped would boost her child’s career. After signing a one-year contract with Patrick Arnold Simpson and Paul Atteukenian of the firm, White paid $700 them for pictures of her daughter to develop her “portfolio.” The two men then got the family to pay them upwards of $8,000, in advance, to allow the daughter to participate in a modeling conference in New York....

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A YouTube-network win for music publishers

 It’s not often that a major publishing studio reaches a settlement with a YouTube video network. The network’s business is booming — unfortunately for most traditional studios, there are still blatant copyright issues. With web browser extensions that convert YouTube music files to mp3’s and users uploading everything from TV episodes to movies, it’s often tough for publishing studios to enforce copyright claims. Publishing companies often would rather file DMCA take down notices. On Jan. 8, however, Fullscreen and the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) reached a settlement agreement after the association sued Fullscreen in August, 2013, over its claimed use of unlicensed musical works in videos uploaded by video creators. This is coincidentally around the same time the association reached an agreement with Maker Studios, another multichannel network that allowed music publishers to get paid for past infringement and ensure licensing going forward. Similar to the agreement with Maker Studios, this settlement with Fullscreen will allow music publishers that opt in to receive compensation for previous use of their works and Fullscreen will work with music publishers to license musical works under YouTube’s direct licenses. Further, Fullscreen agreed to remove video content containing unlicensed music on Fullscreen managed channels. The NMPA represents American music publishers and their songwriting partners. Fullscreen is a multichannel network that helps independent creators reach larger audiences and monetize videos. Fullscreen is home to...

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The Biederman Blog is now ranked NUMBER ONE on Feedspot's Top 20 Entertainment Law blogs (May 2018). It is very exciting to top this list. We are extra proud of number six - Entertainment Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark. Mr. Firemark graduated from Southwestern in 1992, and is a top entertainment blogger and webinar presenter in addition to being a world class entertainment attorney!

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