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Author Archives: Gordon Firemark

WGA announces an end to Agency Packaging deals

WGA announces an end to Agency Packaging deals

In a news release from the Writer's Guild of America, the union announces that, effective July 1, 2022, franchised talent and lit agents working on WGA covered projects will no longer be permitted to use a package-fee model.

Under a Package fee model, agencies receive a fee from the studio for assembling a package of talent. Instead, starting July 1, 2022, agencies must operate on a commission basis, under which the agency’s commission is calculated as a percentage of writer compensation.  Rider W of the Franchise Agreement caps the agency’s commission at 10%.

Writer's Guild Rules prohibit non-franchised agents from representing their members.

Here's the FAQ from the WGA.

Packaging deals have been around for quite a long time, but have come under fire from many fronts, largely on grounds that it represents a conflict of interest for agents representing talent to receive fees from the companies that hire that talent. Others complain that the practice of packaging deprives talent from competing agencies access to opportunities, making packaged projects, essentially agency-controlled talent monopolies.

A troubling trend in Shopping Agreements.

Recently, I’ve started seeing a dangerous trend in so-called “shopping agreements”. The first few of these came up in deals between podcasters and networks or production services, but I’ve also encountered the problem with TV producer/writer deals.  What’s odd is that, while they seem innocuous, these deals really don’t serve either of the parties very… Continue Reading

Locast (local TV antenna-to-streaming service) suspends ops after devastating court ruling.

Locast is a digital app that live streams over-the-air television stations without a cable or satellite TV subscription. The service has a few million users for its expanding offering which Locast currently covers roughly 55% of the US with operations in 36 markets. On August 31, that all changed. a New York federal court granted… Continue Reading

No Public Performance Right in California for pre-’72 recordings.

‘Flo and Eddie’, The founders of iconic ’60’s band The Turtles, were dealt what’s likely a final blow in their long-running lawsuit against digital broadcasters and others claiming infringement of common-law copyrights in their recordings. (Sound recordings were not protected under federal copyright law until February, 1972). Flo & Eddie had argued that pre-1972 sound… Continue Reading

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