Fees and taxes collected in foreign lands for writers and directors has been going on for decades. Some of this money gets remitted to American creators, and animation people are included in the mix. And it seems the current formula will get stretched out another thirty-six months.
The multimillion-dollar Foreign Levies Agreement between the MPAA and the WGA and DGA, which had been set to expire on December 31, has been extended for another three years. The pact covers monies payable under foreign laws to writers and directors of copyrighted works in the U.S.
Since 1990, the DGA has collected more than $160 million under the agreement on behalf of directors, and the WGA has collected more than $152 million for writers. Production companies have received well north of $350 million. During the fiscal year ended March 31, the DGA disbursed $14.3 million and the WGA $13.3 million, while the companies received more than $60 million. The extension of the agreement keeps in place the 50-50 split between the unions and the studios, with each guild receiving a 25% share of the foreign levies. ...
Years ago, the Writers Guild negotiated a lesser deal where our fine entertainment conglomerates got the lion's share of the money. (Don't know how the Directors Guild made out, but we assume it was the same.)
In more recent times, the division of levies money has become a 50/50 proposition. The reason this deal is important to cartoon workers is that the DGA and WGA administer cartoon money and send out checks to Animation Guild members; the Animation Guild works with both organizations to insure that FL checks get into the hands that they're supposed to.
If you're an animation writer or director and believe that you have foreign levy cash coming, check the DGA list or the WGA FAQ page and see what you need to do to receive foreign levies.
(As you can see, we've had a few issues regarding foreign levies with one of our sister guilds over the years.)