Noted constitutional expert Floyd Abrams today wrote the Senate Judiciary Committee and firmly declared that there is no First Amendment right to steal creative content and distribute it on the Internet through rogue websites.
These are dynamic times for Screen Actors Guild, with elected leaders and staff looking at what the organization does with a fresh eye. “Because we’ve always done it that way” isn’t a good enough reason anymore; instead, we’re examining how SAG addresses today’s realities, and asking ourselves if creativity and technology offer us a better way to use the resources that we have to benefit our members.
The most exciting news I’ve been able to share as SAG president can be found on page 12, in the story "SAG, AFTRA Boards Vote to Move Forward with Merger." The SAG National Board voted unanimously to create a Merger Task Force, and both unions’ boards directed that a formal merger plan be completed by January 2012. If the boards approve the plan, the members of SAG and AFTRA could vote to merge our unions as early as next spring.
Meeting in Orlando, Florida, for its annual Screen Actors Guild Regional Branch Conference, leaders of the Regional Branch Division were welcomed today by Jennifer Pennypacker, Orlando Film Commissioner and President of Film Florida. "It is a true honor for Orlando to be hosting the Regional Branch Division this weekend," she said. "We are grateful for the role Screen Actors Guild plays in establishing and sustaining the local industry."
Screen Actors Guild today voiced its support for actions by the office of the Los Angeles City Attorney and the State labor commissioner, which are cracking down on unlawful fees charged by background casting businesses.
In all, cease-and-desist letters were sent to 14 background casting companies on Wednesday, warning that requiring actors to pay a fee for access to work is a violation of California labor law. L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich sent the letters to background casting companies operating in the city, with the goal of achieving industry-wide compliance.