Monday, July 31, 2006

UnSettlement Gallery of Heroes Contact Info

LAWYERS

They told the Court of Appeals that the value of "prima facie valid claims" was $10.76 million, so the $11.8 million cap for the C Reduction wouldn't kick in. Indeed, the very idea that it ever could have was always "absurd."

But, oops, then they admitted that the $10.76 million was off because a lot of potential Category A and B claims (registered copyrights) got initially counted as Category C's (unregistereds). They're trying to file "corrected" briefs, which would delete the wrong information without releasing the right information, and would simply ignore the arguments they've been making for a year on the basis of the former.

A.J. De Bartolomeo (ajd@girardgibbs.com)
Michael J. Boni (mboni@kohnswift.com)
Gary Fergus (gfergus@ferguslegal.com)
Diane S. Rice (drice@hosielaw.com)
Spencer Hosie (shosie@hosielaw.com)

*****

"ASSOCIATIONAL" PLAINTIFFS

These aren't writers, but three organizations of authors. with a combined membership of a few thousand (including crossovers) that appointed themselves to negotiate a settlement on behalf of every writer everywhere. And they negotiated badly, "winning" for all of us a grand total of $18 million before attorneys' fees, an unconscionable "License by Default," and the C Reduction. They're not even doing right by their own members, a super-majority of whose claims are in the C Category; at ASJA and NWU especially, the percentage likely hovers somewhere between 98.99 and 99.99%.

Oh yeah, and they're self-promoting hucksters, too. They said the 99% were lucky to be getting even crumbs, when the record shows that the defendants would never have settled unless the unregistereds (and their hideously broad release of future claims) were folded into the agreement. But the orgs did say that everyone eligible would at least get something: what they had the nerve to label "found money."

Now the associations are obliged to give the international community of freelancers an explanation of what's happening with the settlement fund. Write to these people and demand that they discharge their fiduciary duty.

Authors Guild
[Paul Aiken, executive director], staff@authorsguild.org

American Society of Journalists and Authors
fax the staff at 212.937.2315
Jack El-Hai, current president (El-Haijack@el-hai.com)
Jim Morrison, former president and chief hypemeister (jimmor@aol.com)

National Writers Union
fax the staff at 212.254.0673
Gerard Colby, president (gcolby@nwu.org)
See http://nwu.org/nwu/index.php?cmd=showPage&page_id=1.4.3 for email addresses of other national officers

*****

NAMED PLAINTIFFS

They should be representing the class and demanding that the lawyers publish the truth, including the best current claims value information. We "absent class members" (don't you love that term?) have to pressure the named plaintiffs to do so, because they have no economic incentive to give a damn about the C Reduction -- they already stand to collect in the neighborhood of $1.6 million from their A's and B's. They won't get a dime shaved from their awards if theirs and others' A's and B's take the settlement fund all the way up to its $11.8 million claims cap, while the rest of us are left holding a bag of (mostly hot) air.

Michael Castleman
E.L. Doctorow
Tom Dunkel
(the late) Andrea Dworkin
Jay Feldman
James Gleick
Ronald Hayman
Robert Lacey
Ruth Laney
Paula McDonald
P/K Associates, Inc.
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
Gerald Posner
Miriam Raftery
Ronald M. Schwartz
Mary Sherman
Donald Spoto
Robert E. Treuhaft and Jessica L. Treuhaft (Mitford) Trust.
Constance Romilly, Trustee
Robert Vaughan
Robley Wilson
Marie Winn

*****

11 INCREDIBLE SHRINKING CATEGORY C CLAIMANT DECLARANTS

These are freelancers who were recruited to write declarations in support of the settlement last year. All cited large sums of money they expected to receive for C claim awards. Were they told that there's a good chance there won't wind up being any C claim awards?

One of the ISCCCD's, Martha Russis of Glenview, Illinois, said she also had registered claims -- more than 600 of them -- and expected to get a grand, a very grand, total of $110,000. She probably stands to get almost all of that even in the event of a C Reduction. Maybe that's why, uniquely among the ISCCCD's, she not only supported the settlement but noted that she was "disgusted and aggravated" by your humble blogger/objector. And you, Martha my dear, have the breath of Paul McCartney's old pet dog.

If the ISCCCD's didn't commit perjury, there's not a whole lot else to say about them. They're under no fiduciary obligation to the class, but if they have any interest in actually collecting the revenue that they told the court they were expecting in sworn statements, they would be well advised to contact A.J. De Bartolomeo, Esq., at Girard Gibbs & De Bartolomeo (see above), and if ole A.J. is nice enough to get back to them with anything approximating an honest answer, kind of clue in the rest of us.

Heidi Siegmund Cuda
Hilary de Vries
Pamela Ferris-Olson
Hugh Hart
Bart Mills
Nancy Mills
Martha Russis
Richard Scherr
Jeff Seidel
Gary Taylor
Susan Wallace

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