“The Writing on the Wall: Lessons, Takeaways & Opportunities from the Hollywood Strikes”

    • January 9, 2024
    1024 536 The California Copyright Conference

    Date/Time
    Date(s) -

    01/09/2024

    2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

    Location
    Zoom


    “The Writing on the Wall: Lessons, Takeaways & Opportunities from the Hollywood Strikes”

    In May and throughout the summer, WGA and SAG-AFTRA initiated strikes to assert demands for what they deemed as fair compensation for their labor. Following their actions, the American film and TV industry experienced a significant slowdown, adversely impacting sync licensing. This disruption, in turn, has had a notable ripple effect on music industry workers, recording artists, and songwriters, especially during a period where they already face substantial challenges within their own domain. The complexities of copyright regulations and limitations on unionization within the music industry have made it difficult for individuals to stay well-informed, connected, and empowered within this vast community. Given these circumstances, it becomes crucial to explore viable steps that can be taken to preserve the value of music in an era increasingly defined by digitization and automation. Music workers must strategize on effective engagement with stakeholders, gathering accurate information, advocating for their interests, and ensuring their voices are not overshadowed. Through conversations with industry experts, advocates, and legal professionals, we aim to understand the valuable insights and lessons that can be gleaned from Hollywood’s labor actions. Moreover, we intend to discuss strategies that can help music workers recover from the financial losses resulting from these disruptions and explore potential pathways that hold promise for the future of the music industry.

     

    Moderators: 

    Kristina Guerra Benson | Founder, Sweet On Top, LLC

    Josh Briggs | General Manager & Head Of Publishing, Terrorbird Media & Publishing

     

    Panelists:

    Jonathan Handel | Senior Counsel, Feig Finkel, LLP

    Michelle Lewis | Executive Director, SONA

    Christine Meinders | Chief Executive Officer, POIETO

    Karl Richter | Founder & CEO, DISCO

    Jennifer Smith | Founder, Rat Dance Party

     

    Tuesday, January 9th, 2024

    2:30pm – 4:00pm PST | Zoom Webinar Broadcast

     

    Advance Reservation:
    CCC Members $0 per person | Non-members $5 per person

     

    Registration deadline is Tuesday, January 9, 2024, at 1:30pm PST

     

    – No refunds –

    Stick around for the “after hour, happy hour” chat following the webinar!
    Catch up and network with the CCC community from the
    comfort of your own couch

     

    Questions? Email is at questions@theccc.org

    Biographies

    Kristina Guerra Benson | Founder, Sweet On Top, LLC

    Kristina began her career with a degree in opera from University of California at Irvine and took piano lessons in her spare time under Miles Davis’s sideman Kei Akagi. After stints as a promoter and DJ, she segued into a role as a branding specialist for DoStuffMedia, where she spearheaded engagement initiatives for brands such as Goose Island, Grey Goose and Pabst Blue Ribbon, working closely with local influencers to produce interactive brand experiences. She went from there to acting as Music Director for Lip Sync, and after many successful placements and two wonderful years at Lip Sync, she decided the time had come to start her own agency. In the short time since it has opened its doors, Sweet On Top has landed placements with high-quality brands such as Apple, Michael Kors, Macy’s, Vogue and St. Regis, promotions for the Olympics and “Songland”; and in television shows including “Station 19,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “All Rise,” “Firefly Lane,” “High Fidelity,” “Ray Donovan” and “The Blacklist.” Additionally, her writers have secured cuts with Dim Mak and Warner Records’ artists. Kristina also worked closely with the Guild of Music Supervisors’ education committee and is a member of the California Copyright Conference and the Association of Independent Music Publishers.


    Josh Briggs | General Manager & Head Of Publishing, Terrorbird Media & Publishing

    Josh Briggs is the General Manager and Head of Publishing for Terrorbird Media & Terrorbird Publishing in Los Angeles, California. Spending six years as Director of Pop/Rock Membership at ASCAP, more than a decade at the helm of Terrorbird Publishing, and as an independent musician himself, Josh has spent his career as a steward of independent music. He believes that doing it yourself doesn’t mean doing it alone, and that inclusiveness, education, and understanding are keys to a thriving musical ecosystem. He’s worked with artists like Le Tigre, Big Freedia, Solange, Jawbreaker, Isaac “Redd” Holt, Lord Huron, Vundabar, and more, and published a Guide to Sync Licensing for The Creative Independent.


    Jonathan Handel | Senior Counsel, Feig Finkel, LLP

    Jonathan Handel is a transactional enter­tainment and technology lawyer with a related specialty in Hollywood unions and guilds, and is also a journalist, media commentator and occasional screenwriter and poet. He represents screenwriters, directors, actors, producers, production companies and others in transactions and in guild relations. Jonathan also represents software developers and counterparties, and companies and executives negotiating employment agreements.

    A preeminent expert on Hollywood unions and guilds, Jonathan regularly handles residuals matters and other guild issues, including credit arbitrations and appeals. The author of four books and numerous articles on the entertainment unions, Jonathan was associate counsel at the WGA and outside special counsel to SAG-AFTRA. An authority on residuals, Jonathan created a color-coded chart summarizing most residuals that has become an industry standard, and then expanded the chart into the only published book on residuals.

    Jonathan is also a Contributing Writer for Puck news and was a contributing editor at The Hollywood Reporter from 2010 to 2020, where he wrote about 1,400 articles. His writing has also been published in/on the Los Angeles Times, Variety, Billboard, Backstage and elsewhere. He has appeared almost 1,400 times as a commentator on entertainment law and business in most major television, radio, print and online outlets across the world.

    Jonathan moderates and appears on panels, presents seminars and has taught a 400-student film appreciation/screening class for UCLA Extension. He has been an adjunct professor at UCLA, USC and Southwestern law schools teaching courses on the entertainment industry and on Hollywood unions and guilds, and is a non-resident research fellow at Rutgers University. He is also a co-founder and former officer of an entertainment tech startup. Named by the Daily Journal as one of the top 100 lawyers in California, Jonathan has been profiled in a book, articles, websites and podcasts. He is a member of the Television Academy and an associate member of the Dramatists Guild and the Society of Composers & Lyricists.

    Jonathan is licensed in California and is a graduate of Harvard College (1982/83 AB magna cum laude in applied math and computer science) and Harvard Law School (1990 JD cum laude). Prior to law school, he worked in tech and was a Democratic party elected official and gay activist who initiated, drafted and successfully lobbied for the Cambridge, Mass. human rights (civil rights) ordinance. Afterwards, Jonathan was a federal appellate law clerk, litigator and federal Associate Independent Counsel (special prosecutor) before switching to transactional practice.



    Christine Meinders | Chief Executive Officer, POIETO

    I am social technologist and innovation strategist who uses collaborative and inclusive design approaches to creating AI design tools and developing social AI projects. My research has focused on the design of intelligent experiences for civic/healthcare sectors, inclusive design in AI, and co-designing social experiences.

    My MFA thesis project “Feminist.AI” led to a postgraduate fellowship where I continued my work on my AI Design Tool, which then led to the founding of an AI innovation consultancy. I have also presented my research at conferences and guest lectures.

    I hold an MFA in Media Design Practices from ArtCenter College of Design and an MA in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University.

    Specialties: AI Innovation Consulting, AI Design, AI Research, Emotions Analytics, Sensory AI, Socio-cultural probes, Clinical Psychology Research, Prototyping, Research (qualitative, quantitative, proprietary).


    Karl Richter | Founder & CEO, DISCO

    Karl Richter is the Founder and CEO of DISCO. He has spent his working life immersed in the Australian music industry, including founding
    Australia’s preeminent music supervision agency; Level Two Music. While working as a music supervisor, Karl founded DISCO; a music file sharing and workflow platform built specifically for the music industry. When not obsessing over SaaS or the sound of the next 30 seconds, Karl seeks out cruiser division waves at his local urban surf park.

    DISCO was founded in Melbourne, but with a worldwide team of 34 in eight countries, DISCO is a platform that allows anyone working with music, from artists to major labels, to manage and share their files easily. DISCO has become the industry standard for seamless music file-sharing, and provides a suite of tools, including searchable libraries, watermarking and AI-driven discovery that optimizes creative workflow and the monetization of copyrighted material. A SaaS B2B platform, DISCO now manages over 60 million files for publishers, record labels, managers, artists, media companies and music supervisors globally, counting Netflix, Universal Music Group, Amazon, Sony, TikTok & Warner among its customers.


    Jennifer Smith | Founder, Rat Dance Party

    Jennifer Smith is a multi-talented music supervisor, producer and sonic-storyteller. Drawing from her theater background, she approaches creation and collaboration from a distinct story and character-focused lens. Through her Los Angeles-based music supervision company, Rat Dance Party, Jennifer’s work can be heard in projects like Netflix’s Deadly Illusions, directed by Anna Elizabeth James, and CBS/Paramount+’s Why Women Kill, created by Marc Cherry and produced by Ron Howard’s Imagine entertainment. Jennifer also music supervises Paramount+’s wide-ranging docu-series Behind the Music, in which she helps build the story world of artists and bands across many genres and decades.

    Jennifer specializes in music supervision services for all types of media including new media, podcasts, live television, scripted, unscripted, and documentary projects. Past projects highlights include Showtime’s American Christmas starring Tara Reid, Gravitas Ventures’ Simchas and Sorrows, and festival favorite documentaries including Tribeca Festival 2023 selection Uncharted featuring Alicia Keys and her songwriting camp “She is the Music,” and SXSW 2023 selection Black Barbie: A Documentary, directed by Lagueria Davis. She also recently completed work on Italian cult hit Caverna, which has
    been garnering rave reviews, and previously music supervised Amazon’s award- winning feature The Transcendents.

    Prior to her work for Rat Dance Party, Jennifer worked with the teams at Dancing with the Stars and American Idol ABC Season 1, where she was in charge of clearing the rights for hundreds of songs. She also previously worked at Kobalt Music as part of the synchronization team, handling all things across music, creative and business verticals including extensive talent relations.

    Jennifer is a board member of The Guild Of Music Supervisors, and is a member of The Television Academy, The Recording Academy, Women In Film, Women In Music and Women In Media. Her mentors include legendary music supervisor Bonnie Greenberg and theater teacher Krista Carson Elhai. A Southern California native, Jennifer also teaches at the LA College of Music for the Music Supervision and Music Business and Songwriting programs.


    Attention Attorneys: This virtual activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education Credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of one (1) hour. The CCC certifies that this activity confirms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education.  Following this virtual presentation, you will receive a link to fill out the State Bar of California’s new attendance form and we will then email your certificate of attendance to the email provided at registration within 24 to 48 hours.

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