[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Accused of Conspiring to Fix Animators’ Wages, Dreamworks Offers $50 Mil. to Settle | 10-18-2016
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
47°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 23
1882 - Author Helen Hunt Jackson arrives at Rancho Camulos; inspiration for "Ramona" novel [story]


Photo: City of Glendale

Photo: City of Glendale

[CN] – Hollywood heavyweight DreamWorks said it’s willing to pay $50 million to settle a claims that it colluded with other studios to fix the wages of animators.

DreamWorks filed a motion for a preliminary settlement in Federal Court on Monday, agreeing to pay a class of animation workers the largest sum to date in a case that implicates nearly all of the studios that create animated films.

“The settlement here was reached after arm’s length negotiations, drawing on the expertise of informed, experienced counsel who have been deeply involved in this litigation since its inception, and it reflects the risks associated with both parties continuing to litigate this case,” DreamWorks said in the motion.

The proposed agreement used two previous settlements as a template, both of which were preliminarily approved by U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh in early July.

Blue Sky Studios and Sony Pictures agreed to pay animators and visual effects producers nearly $19 million under the approved agreement. The court stipulated Blue Sky will pay about $6 million, while Sony will pay approximately $13 million under the terms.

The agreements stem from a 2014 class action brought by Robert Nitsch — who was a senior character effects artist for DreamWorks and a clothes and hair technical director at Sony Pictures Imageworks — claiming major animation studios colluded to fix wages and restrict career opportunities for artists.

Nitsch was joined by other plaintiffs who said the scheme was essentially industry-wide, with nearly all the major studios conspiring to stifle wages and restrict career opportunities for animators, digital artists, software engineers and other technical workers.

Pixar, Lucasfilm, Disney and ImageMovers Digital are also named as defendants, but have yet to come to terms on a settlement.

The studios mounted a fight against class certification, but the settlements began rolling in once Koh agreed to allow plaintiffs to sue as a class.

Nitsch’s lawsuit mirrors a class action filed against Apple, Google and others in 2010, which claimed their CEOs made “gentleman’s agreements” to restrict competition, and companion wage-setting mechanisms, by not poaching each other’s employees.

Pixar and Lucasfilm were defendants in that case as well and settled for $9 million collectively last year, but Koh has rejected a $325 million agreement proposed by Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe.

Nitsch claims the animation studios acted in much the same way as the tech companies, conspiring to deprive artists of “millions of dollars which defendants instead put to their bottom lines.”

He adds in the lawsuit: “It did so at the same time the films produced by these workers achieved world renown and generated billions in the United States and abroad.”

Nitsch says the scheme dates back to when Apple founder Steve Jobs bought Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division from George Lucas in 1986 and created Pixar.

Nitsch says Jobs, Lucas and Pixar president Ed Catmull agreed not to cold-call each other’s employees.

Neither Lucas, Catmull nor Apple are defendants in Nitsch’s complaint.

He claims Pixar and Lucasfilm agreed to notify each other when making an offer to an employee, and to not offer higher pay if the employer made a counteroffer. He says Jobs and Catmull spread this kind of anticompetitive agreement throughout the animation industry.

Dreamworks was founded in 1994 by major entertainment players David Geffen, Stephen Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg and has since made 32 major motion pictures.

The studio has produced the Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and Monsters franchises, among other hits.

Blue Sky is a computer animation film studio based in Connecticut. It is famous for making the films “Ice Age,” “Rio” and “The Peanuts Movie.”

Sony Pictures Animation has a few high-profile films under its belt, including “Open Season,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “The Smurfs” and “Hotel Transylvania.”

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. Julie Burgeson says:

    All these big shots are beginning to sound like Hillary. Maybe this is where they got all the money to host those big $30,000 a person parties at their homes.

Leave a Comment


LOCAL BUSINESS LINKS
LOCAL BUSINESS HEADLINES
FINANCIALS OF LOCAL INTEREST
MARKETS & METALS
NASDAQ5552.94  chart -0.04%
S&P 5002265.20  chart -0.27%
STOCKS OF LOCAL INTEREST
Bank Santa Clarita11.80  chart +0.00%
Biosolar, Inc.0.0549  chart +0.00%
Sierra Bancorp28.15  chart +3.91%
Cu Bancorp (ca)35.25  chart +0.00%
Enable Ipc Corp0.00  chart +0.00%
Flex Ltd. - Ordinary Shares14.61  chart +0.07%
Linn Energy Llc Unit Repstg Ltd0.102  chart -7.27%
Linn Co Llc Com Shs Repstg Ltd 0.0575  chart -7.26%
Mannkind Corporation0.69  chart +7.81%
Mission Vly Bcp Ca10.60  chart +0.00%
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated 91.07  chart +0.08%
Tejon Ranch Co Common Stock24.06  chart -0.99%
Us Energy Initiative0.0013  chart +0.00%
Wesco Aircraft Holdings, Inc. C15.25  chart +0.00%

Apple Inc.120.08  chart +0.07%
At&t Inc.42.00  chart +1.33%
Autonation, Inc. Common Stock52.18  chart +0.95%
Best Buy Co., Inc. Common Stock43.54  chart +0.42%
Big Lots, Inc. Common Stock48.70  chart -1.06%
Barnes & Noble, Inc. Common Sto10.65  chart -0.93%
Brady Corporation Common Stock36.10  chart -0.14%
Boston Scientific Corporation C23.68  chart -0.92%
N/a24  chart +0.00%
Cbre Group Inc Common Stock Cla30.04  chart -0.69%
Carnival Corporation Common Sto53.77  chart +0.88%
Comcast Corporation73.26  chart -0.42%
Costco Wholesale Corporation163.01  chart -0.75%
Curtiss-wright Corporation Comm95.62  chart -0.82%
Cvs Health Corporation Common S81.25  chart -0.38%
Cemex, S.a.b. De C.v. Sponsored8.83  chart -0.11%
D.r. Horton, Inc. Common Stock28.74  chart +1.52%
Walt Disney Company (the) Commo107.12  chart -0.50%
Edison International Common Sto71.82  chart -0.21%
Hyatt Hotels Corporation Class 54.51  chart +0.13%
Home Depot, Inc. (the) Common S138.07  chart +1.82%
Kb Home Common Stock16.28  chart -0.43%
Kroger Company (the) Common Sto33.53  chart -1.64%
Lennar Corporation Class A Comm43.75  chart -0.23%
Laboratory Corporation Of Ameri132.54  chart +0.11%
Linn Energy Llc Unit Repstg Ltd0.102  chart -7.27%
Linn Co Llc Com Shs Repstg Ltd 0.0575  chart -7.26%
Lowe's Companies, Inc. Common S72.58  chart +1.64%
Marriott International84.37  chart -0.01%
Mcdonald's Corporation Common S121.38  chart -0.72%
Mitsubishi Ufj Financial Group,6.39  chart +0.47%
Netflix, Inc.137.39  chart -0.87%
Office Depot, Inc.4.42  chart -1.34%
Rite Aid Corporation Common Sto6.90  chart -7.51%
Rexford Industrial Realty, Inc.23.99  chart +0.88%
Regal Entertainment Group Class22.65  chart +1.48%
Ross Stores, Inc.65.11  chart -1.35%
Republic Services, Inc. Common 57.24  chart -0.21%
N/aN/A  chartN/A
Starbucks Corporation57.76  chart +0.17%
Smart & Final Stores, Inc. Comm14.75  chart -2.64%
Sears Holdings Corporation9.33  chart +0.00%
Six Flags Entertainment Corpora60.89  chart +0.58%
Sonova N127.70  chart -0.70%
Staples, Inc.9.06  chart -1.09%
Sunpower Corporation6.85  chart -2.00%
Target Corporation Common Stock63.85  chart -0.39%
Time Warner Cable Inc209.56  chart +0.00%
Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragran266.02  chart -0.08%
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.81.55  chart -0.21%
Waste Connections, Inc. Common 79.96  chart +0.36%
Whole Foods Market, Inc.30.36  chart -1.46%
Waste Management, Inc. Common S69.34  chart -0.46%
Wal-mart Stores, Inc. Common St66.65  chart -0.79%
Woodward, Inc.65.80  chart -2.66%
CURRENCY CONVERTER

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
An informational meeting has been scheduled for January 24, 2017 to inform the public of the discovery of Quagga Mussel at Pyramid Lake and what is being done to stop the spread of it.
Jan. 24: Informational Meeting Regarding Quagga Mussel
The SoCalGas Advisory asks all customers to immediately reduce their natural gas use to help lower the risk of possible natural gas and electricity shortages.
SoCalGas Warning: Use Less Natural Gas Now
Sierra Bancorp recognized consolidated net income of $5.517 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase of $1.588 million, or 40%, relative to the third quarter of 2016 due primarily to non-recurring income and lower one-time acquisition costs.
Sierra Bancorp Profits Up 40% on One-Time Gains
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, the winter storms that passed through the Santa Clarita Valley may be over and evacuated residents are able to go home, but there are still concerns about flooding and mudslides. Plus, a local coffee store was burglarized early Monday morning. Check out these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, January 23, 2017
Santa Clarita Valley volunteers are planning to join in a countywide effort to count the local homeless population Tuesday night, and residents can still sign up to volunteer.
SCV Residents to Count Homeless Population Tuesday Night
The recent window-smash burglaries plaguing the Santa Clarita Valley recently struck Honu Coffee in Newhall early Monday morning.
Local Coffee Shop Burglarized in Early Morning Window-Smashing
The Rancho Camulos tradition to reenact Helen Hunt Jackons's 1883 visit that inspired her to make this California Rancho one of the settings for her novel "Ramona" is back again on January 28 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Jan. 28: Rancho Camulos Reenacts Historic Helen Hunt Jackson Visit
The Santa Clarita Public Library is bringing story-time home to families and children: residents can now listen to stories by dialing the library’s main phone line at (661) 259-0750 and dialing extension 4.
Santa Clarita Public Library Launches Dial-A-Story Program
Students from Academy of the Canyons Middle College High School (AOC), part of the William S. Hart Union High School District, will once again be participating in the bi-annual Project Linus Make a Blanket Day on Saturday, February 18, 2016, at the Westfield Valencia Town Center Mall.
AOC Students to be Part of Project Linus
The County Interim Health Officer is extending a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures expected in parts of L.A. County, including the Santa Clarita Valley.
Jan. 25 – 27: Cold Weather Alert for SCV, Parts of L.A. County
Thursday, January 26th is Paul Newman’s birthday and The Painted Turtle is celebrating the power of Paul and his legacy by brother Arthur Newman and his wife, Patty, matching every gift made in Paul's honor.
Painted Turtle Celebrating Paul Newman Birthday, Legacy
Quest Toastmasters of Santa Clarita is presenting a seminar called "It's Okay to be Different!" at the Valencia Public Library on Thursday, Feb. 23 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 23: Quest Toastmasters Present ‘It’s Okay to be Different’
LIMS (the Lifton Institute of Media Arts & Sciences) in association with the Santa Clarita-based 25Score Marketing Group is now accepting veterans’ applications for the intensive “VET 200” entertainment industry training program at the studio.
LIMS ‘VET 200’ Program Provides Vets a Golden Ticket to New Career
A recap of the end of the year and a sneak peek at new events coming to the Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita.
News from the Domestic Violence Center
Following a tradition dating back more than a century, Providence Health & Services will grant a total of $365,200 Tuesday to 17 San Fernando Valley area nonprofit groups that serve the homeless, the disabled, school children in low-income areas and other vulnerable populations.
Providence Partnering with Nonprofit Groups
The Hart School District and Balfor-Beatty, the contractor that built the Canyon High School Performing Arts Center, received a safety award from the Statewide Educational Wrap Up Program (SEWUP).
Hart District Receives Safety Award
As rainstorms hit the Santa Clarita Valley and L.A. County, it is important to continue planning and preparing for the increased potential of flooding, mudslides and debris run-off.
LACoFD Offers Tips for Flood Management
Feature films, TV and reality TV are currently being filmed in Santa Clarita this week.
Currently Filming in SCV: Fan Girl, Last Man on Earth, Fan Slam
1882 - Author Helen Hunt Jackson arrives at Rancho Camulos; inspiration for "Ramona" novel [story]
1839 - Gov. Juan B. Alvarado gives most of SCV to Mexican Army Lt. Antonio del Valle [story]
Western music fans shouldn’t be terribly surprised if 2017 Cowboy Festival marks the last time they can catch the three-part harmonies of Sons of the San Joaquin in Santa Clarita.
Sons of the San Joaquin Release Final Album Ahead of 2017 Festival
1914 - Signal newspaper owner-editor Scott Newhall born in San Francisco [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, an overnight and early morning storm caused flooding, downed trees, and accidents throughout SCV Friday. Plus, the sole victim of a plane crash in Lake Hughes has been identified. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, January 20, 2017
News and views from College of the Canyons.
News from COC: The Bottom Line, Winter 2016/17
A series of storms is sweeping through Los Angeles County, with the final and strongest one predicted to affect the area late Saturday night through Monday. The combined rainfall totals for all three storms could be 3.00-6.00” for coastal and valley areas, with up to 9.00” possible in some foothill and mountain areas. Potential impacts include flash flooding and debris flows for recent burn areas, rock and mudslides along canyon roads, urban and small stream flooding, significant travel delays, isolated power outages, and dangerous driving conditions.
L.A. County Braces for a Series of Storms
Medical examiners identified a man whose body was found on Christmas Day near Agua Dulce.
Human Remains Found in Agua Dulce Identified
Parents and students will be offered information about healthy study habits and managing mental health at the William S. Hart Union High School District’s Parent and Student Empowerment (PASE) Information Night.
Hart District to Discuss Mental Health, Study Habits
Coroner’s officials identified the sole victim of a Lake Hughes plane crash Friday.
Plane Crash Victim Identified
10 Things to Expect at Thursdays @ Newhall
10 Things to Expect at Thursdays @ Newhall
On Tuesday, February 7 at 7:00 P.M, Trinity Classical Academy’s Speaker Series welcomes Dr. Hugh Ross, PhD, astronomer, best-selling author, and Founder of Reason To Believe.
Feb. 7: Trinity Classical Academy’s Speaker Series
The Board of Supervisors has appointed Dr. Christopher Rogers to the position of Acting Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner, effective Friday.
County Names New Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner
The California High-Speed Rail Authority will be hosting five community open house meetings in the Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section starting next Saturday, January 28 in Rosamond.
California High-Speed Rail Authority to Host Public Meetings
Valencia High School students take honors at 2017 Socal Career Development Conference.
VHS Students Take Honors at Socal Career Development Conference
Princess Cruises received top honors in USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards, being named “Best Ocean Cruise Line” after the cruise line was nominated by cruise industry experts and ultimately voted on by USA TODAY readers. In addition, Princess Cruises was recognized for “Best Cruise Ship Entertainment,” “Best Cruise Ship Dining” and “Best Cruise Ship for Families.”
Princess Cruises Named in USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice
Assemblyman Dante Acosta, R-Santa Clarita, has announced his committee appointments including his selection to serve as Vice Chair of the Committee on Natural Resources.
Acosta Named to Several Committees
Two senior al-Qaida operatives were killed recently in separate U.S. airstrikes in Syria, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in two statements.
Two al-Qaida Operatives Killed in Syria