Thursday 8 March 2007

Equity cinches podcast rights

The BBC reports that production company B7 has come to a timely agreement with the actors union, Equity, regarding podcast performances.

Next month an updated audio version of 1970s BBC cult science fiction show Blake's 7 will be released, which was put together by B7. This prompted a discussion between Equity and B7 over the rights of podcast performers.

The agreement provides for minimum session fees, rehearsals, overtime payments, holiday pay, assignment of rights and a royalty share on net revenues generated via podcast downloads, audio streaming via the internet and subsequent CD release.

"Our normal agreements are based around the history of radio and television, so don't properly account for doing productions for these new media," Mr Brown [Equity Spokesman] said.

"They could not possibly be adapted properly because they talk about transmissions and, obviously, for podcasts and internet streamings, transmissions no longer have any meaning.

"This deal is a benchmark... through the detailed negotiations with B7 Productions we now have a matrix that we can use.

"If someone came to us tomorrow saying 'I want to do a new drama podcast, can you help me with my rights' we can say 'absolutely we can'. We know where we are going with this."
Brown also noted that Equity was examining the issues revolving around the use of their members' work on the Internet and mobile platforms: "It is one of our absolutely highest priorities at the moment," he said.

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