If you performed in a motion picture or other work that has earned foreign royalties, you may be affected by a court-approved class action settlement.
A court-approved settlement of a class action lawsuit affects you if you ever performed in a motion picture, television program, or certain other audio-visual work that was aired in certain foreign countries. The settlement provides important protections for performers on whose behalf foreign royalties have been collected, as detailed below.
On February 18, 2011, the Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles, California approved a class action settlement in Osmond v. Screen Actors Guild, Inc., Case No. BC377780, and authorized this notice.
what’s this about?
The lawsuit arose as a result of the collection and distribution to performers of royalties (also known as levies) on blank DVDs and tapes in several foreign nations. Various countries have adopted laws imposing these royalties, which are designed to provide compensation to rights holders, including performers in motion pictures and other works. The lawsuit claimed that Screen Actors Guild, Inc. (“SAG”) has failed to properly distribute foreign royalties to performers. SAG asserts that it has appropriately and properly handled all foreign royalties, denied all allegations and asserted many defenses. The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing or an indication that any law was violated.
You are a class member and could get benefits if you are a performer who satisfies both of the following criteria: (1) you are a “performer”; and (2) SAG has received foreign royalty funds attributable to you. You are a “performer” if you are either:
(a) an individual entitled to residuals under the applicable SAG collective bargaining agreements for a given work (or, in the case of individuals who appeared exclusively in works produced before February 1, 1960, an individual who would have been entitled to residuals if the work(s) had been produced after February 1, 1960 or later), and your type of performance (i) generally is included in such works as distributed in the source country, and (ii) for which foreign royalty funds are collected and paid by collecting societies in such source country; OR
(b) an individual entitled to residuals under the applicable SAG collective bargaining agreements for a given work (or, in the case of individuals who appeared exclusively in works produced before February 1, 1960, an individual who would have been entitled to residuals if the work(s) had been produced after February 1, 1960 or later), and claim entitlement to foreign royalties.
what does the settlement provide?
Under the settlement, SAG will continue to distribute funds to performers on whose behalf it collects foreign royalties. To assist in the distribution process, the settlement provides for the following additional measures.
SAG’s website (http://www.sag.org/content/foreign-royalties) will contain content regarding the availability of foreign royalties and SAG’s foreign royalties program. This will include a list of performers for whom at least $10 of foreign royalties have been assigned but not yet paid. If a user clicks on an actor’s name, the source of the funds will appear, and the user will be provided with an estimated date on which he or she may expect to receive payment. SAG will also publish on its website a list of performers for whom less than $10 of foreign royalties have been assigned. If a user clicks on the performer’s name, the source of the funds will appear, and the user will be provided with a telephone number and email address to use to contact SAG for further information. If an actor contacts SAG and requests payment of foreign royalties which have been assigned to him or her, but have not accrued to the minimum $10 for check issuance, SAG shall timely fulfill the request if at least $1 of foreign royalties have accrued.
SAG will use reasonable efforts to allocate and pay foreign royalty funds in its possession to the proper recipients within the time frame set forth in the settlement.
SAG will also engage independent consultants to conduct a review of its foreign royalties program and to make recommendations to improve the processing and distribution of foreign levies. In addition, SAG will have an annual financial review of its foreign royalties program performed. The results of these reviews will be posted on SAG’s website.
how to get more information
If you are a member of the class, you will automatically receive payment of foreign royalty funds once your accrued payment equals or exceeds $10, if your contact information is valid and on file with SAG. If you are entitled to a royalty payment but have not yet accrued $10, you can visit SAG’s website (listed below) to request payment. To do so, simply click on your name to obtain information about how to request payment. You may also contact SAG to request payment. Contact information for the appropriate representative of SAG is also available on SAG’s website.
For the Foreign Royalties Tracker and more information on foreign royalties, click here.
Click here to download complete Judgment and Order Granting Final Approval of Class Action Settlement.
For more information, call (323) 549-6450.