Monday, June 07, 2010

WGA Foreign Levies Settlement

The lawsuit over foreign levies has been settled, to wit:

A state court judge has finalized the settlement in the tangled 5-year-old WGA West foreign levies case -- including a promise that he'll closely monitor how those funds are distributed.

... The WGA has agreed to use its "best efforts" to pay all foreign funds within three years.

... The WGA will have to allow the foreign money to "escheat" to the state for works not covered under WGA contracts if it can't locate the writers or their heirs after three years.

... The WGA West will hire consultants for a one-time review to make recommendations on how to improve the processing and distribution of the funds.

... The final settlement, which followed extensive objections to last fall's preliminary settlement, is much narrower than the WGA had sought. It covers only the 50% of funds that foreign collecting societies have allocated to the WGA for distribution to writers -- but not the 50% of funds allocated to producers under agreements approved by the WGA but never submitted to members for ratification. ...

The thing I found most interesting when reading up on the case and attending one of the hearings?

In foreign lands -- places like France or Australia or Britain -- writers get 100% of foreign levies. But here in the Land of the Free, our fine conglomerates pick up half of the booty.

Just one more benefit to living in our charming, corporatist state.

{Meanwhile, TAG is working to track down addresses for non-WGA animation writers and hand them over to the WGA for distribution of funds. More on that as it unfolds.)


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