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|Jason47||May 21 2010, 09:44 AM|
Here's one of the earliest behind-the-scenes dramas: the lawsuit filed by Irna Phillips against Screen Gems:|
"On November 1, 1961, Irna Phillips, Theodore Corday and Allan Chase entered into a so-called ownership agreement. On September 15, 1964, Corday alone entered into a so-called agency agreement with Screen Gems. The first agreement recited that each of the parties owned a one-third interest in a dramatic serial composition which they wished to have presented and disseminated to various media for public presentation. Each party was to be entitled to one third of fees received in connection with this property resulting from any type of exploitation. In event of an outright sale, each party was to be entitled to one third of the net price but there would be no sale or other exploitation without unanimous written consent. Each party agreed not to sell or assign his or her interest without giving the others a right of first refusal to purchase such interest upon the terms proffered. This provision was not to impair the right of any party to transfer his or her interest to a corporation which such party controlled. Phillips agreed to serve as story editor of the project with Corday to serve as executive producer and Chase to be editor of the script. The agreement also contained provisions which would reduce the interest of any party in event of his or her failure to perform under certain circumstances with such diminution to accrue to the benefit of the remaining parties. The so-called agency agreement of September 15, 1964 was prepared upon the letterhead of Screen Gems showing an address in Hollywood, California. This letter was signed by Screen Gems, addressed to Theodore Corday and accepted by him in writing. In this letter agreement, Corday warranted that he, Phillips and Chase were the co-owners of the dramatic, literary property in question and that Corday had full written authority from co-owners to enter into the agreement. The letter granted Screen Gems sole and exclusive right to offer the property for sale and license in any manner in any medium. Screen Gems was to receive a stated percentage of proceeds from licensing for daytime television use. For television licensing, Corday was to receive $750 per week for each week of the first year of such broadcasts, which was to be paid on behalf of all co-owners, with an increase to $1000 per week for each week after the first year. The agreement also contained provisions for compensation to Phillips and Corday for certain sums specified as having been advanced by them. Screen Gems' rights to distribute and license were to continue for one year, but in the event that it caused a 'pilot' program to be produced, its right to distribute was to be extended for an additional year after completion of production of said pilot. And, if Screen Gems licensed the television program to a national network, it should retain its rights 'in and to the property in perpetuity.' Plaintiff's complaint alleged that Phillips had been informed that offers had been made for purchase of the television serial. By her attorney she had requested advice of existence of said offers and defendant Screen Gems had refused. The complaint alleged that Screen Gems considers itself to be the owner of the production to the exclusion of the agreement which identified Phillips as a co-owner. It alleged that Phillips was informed that Screen Gems may have received remuneration in excess of the percentage provided in the agency agreement and, if such were the case, plaintiff as one co-owner would be entitled to the excess thus received. The complaint prayed for declaratory relief and an accounting for plaintiff's portion as one of the co-owners. After the court had rule that Corday and Chase were necessary parties, Phillips filed an amended complaint. The administrator of the estate of Corday and Chase were added as parties. The amended complaint alleged that numerous meetings, conferences and creative and contractual activities took place in Chicago, Illinois, where Phillips lived, in connection with the development of the serial program and that the program was being broadcast to television viewers within Illinois."
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