Recording Musicians Lose Video Game Lawsuit Against AFM

Film Music Magazine • May 21, 2009

In a defeat for recording musicians opposed to the AFM’s new video game agreements, a federal court today handed down a summary judgment in favor of the AFM in a suit filed against the AFM and Local 47 by recording musicians David Parmeter, Anatoly Rosinsky and Andrew Shulman in 2007.

The recording musicians had argued that the AFM’s new video game agreements and several other AFM agreements were “promulgated agreements” and were not “AFM-negotiated agreements,” and that as a result the AFM was not entitled to work dues on these agreements. The court ordered all funds placed in escrow as a result of the lawsuit to be immediately released.

In the summary judgment, federal judge Hon. Margaret M. Morrow determined that the term “AFM-negotiated” was used by the AFM to differentiate between national and locally-negotiated contracts, indicating that negotiation was present in the promulgated agreements as soon as they were accepted by an employer.

The court found that, “At the moment the employer agrees to become a party to a ‘promulgated agreement,’ the agreement as to that employer is in effect as a consequence of a negotiation between the Federation and the employer. It may have been a short negotiation that did not resemble what we are used to experiencing as a more typical labor negotiation, but it is a negotiation nonetheless.”

The court also noted that for decades, locals and the AFM have “demonstrated their understanding that work dues are payable on work performed under promulgated agreements” by billing, paying, collecting and forwarding these dues to the AFM.

In a letter to AFM members today announcing the judgment, AFM President Tom Lee said, “We are gratified that Judge Morrow saw the case exactly as the Federation did. It was a baseless case from the beginning, and the plaintiffs knew it – or at least they should have. But while the Federation was vindicated, as we always knew it would be, our defense of the case was extremely costly and will inevitably result in a decrease in Federation resources for the recording musician community.”

Click here for a PDF of the summary judgment (43 pages)

Click here to read more about the recording musicians’ lawsuit

Comments

By Brian on May 21st, 2009 at 10:00 pm

Lee’s right hand must be very tired.

By Settlement Loans on May 22nd, 2009 at 9:38 am

Morrows deals another major blow… way to go jack a**.

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