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Sony, Dreamworks and Disney Sued Over Allegedly Ripping Off Artists

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Sony, Dreamworks and Disney are being hit with a class action lawsuit stemming from complaints of conspiracy to fix wages, anti trust and poaching, as reported by Deadline Hollywood. These began as separate lawsuits brought by artists David Wentworth, Robert Nitsch jr. and Georgia Cano, but have been combined into one lawsuit.

The plaintiffs allege that the companies conspired to deprive the artists of millions of dollars while the companies made billions on the films. The plaintiffs are aiming for classification as a class action suit that could potentially involve thousands of artists who worked for the studios dating back from 2004.

It is claimed that a Dreamworks Head of Production Technology, although he expressed concern that it was “taboo” asked executives of the other firms what their policy was on overtime pay. The companies shared this “taboo” information. The Plaintiffs said in a statement that no studio acting independently and “in the absence of a conspiracy to suppress compensation would share this kind of  compensation information, let alone to such a large group of competitors.”

The case is likely to appear before Judge Lucy Koh, before whom Nitsch compared the current case to another high-tech anti trust case she had presided over. The plaintiffs sought to have the case amended under seal as Confidential, but the three studios objected to the information presented that way, and Koh ordered that the plaintiffs have their attorneys on the public record.



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