Digital Media Law
Jonathan Handel Esq.
AFTRA is interested in merger with the Screen Actors Guild, but not if the effort is going to fail again. So we learn from an article appearing in the just-mailed Spring 2010 issue of AFTRA Magazine. The union makes clear that any such effort will encompass all of its members, and emphasizes that the goal is “creating one media and entertainment union for all actors, performers and broadcast journalists.”
SAG reacted favorably, with guild president Ken Howard remarking in an email to me, “I’m delighted to see AFTRA’s leadership speak out forcefully about something that I and other SAG leaders so strongly support. Joining SAG and AFTRA to create a single union is essential to performers’ maximizing their power. It’s undoubtedly an idea whose time has come.”
(AFTRA, for the non-laborites among my readers, is the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and AFTRA share jurisdiction over scripted television programming.)
So far, nothing unexpected. But what is new is the letter’s proposal that the new union have “a structure where no single city or no single category of member—actor, recording artist or broadcaster—is able to unilaterally impose its will on everyone else.” That description could just as well apply to AFTRA’s own current structure. SAG’s governance is quite different, and a simple majority of the Hollywood branch can indeed “unilaterally impose its will on everyone else,” or at least stalemate the rest of the union, absent a Herculean effort to the contrary.
Adopting a more AFTRA-like structure is bound to sit poorly with SAG’s Hollywood-based Membership First Faction. That’s the same stale group that has previously disparaged AFTRA and that caused the year-long contract impasse that cost SAG dearly. However, even non-MF Hollywood members will need to be convinced that a sacrifice in control will bring greater dividends in the form of national cross-category unity. It may not be an easy task.
Meanwhile, also new is the article’s conceptualization of the effort not as merger, but as the creation of “A New Union for a New World,” in the words of the article title. What this means is actually not particularly different from merger, but the point is to underscore the need to create a merged union to increase labor’s power in an age of proliferating platforms.
The article stresses that power should be the main goal, with other factors – elimination of duplicative dues, easing the ability to qualify for pension and health plans, and reduction of redundant administrative costs – treated as secondary. I wouldn’t downplay those secondary advantages quite as much as the article does, but the point is clear.
What’s less obvious from the piece is how creation of a new, merged union would increase union leverage. The article, styled as an open letter from AFTRA elected leadership (Roberta Reardon, Bob Edwards, Ron Morgan, Matthew Kimbrough and Lainie Cooke), notes that on the management side, many of the same companies are the employers of actors, other performers and broadcast journalists. (This is less true of another category of AFTRA member, musicians, since only one of the big four labels, Sony Music, is owned by an audiovisual company.)
However, this is less significant than it seems. The fly in the ointment is that since these different categories are employed under different contracts, each with no-strike clauses, joint strikes would be impossible. Does that mean that the letter is no better than a misaddressed email?
Not necessarily. On the contrary, I think the article is on to something if the goal is to create a larger community of interest among the different categories of member. It will, however, take assertive cross education and meetings between different type of workers – in other words, cross-category community building – in order for this to play out. Even if cross-category strikes are impossible, solidarity picketing and informal pressure may not be – just as we saw when SAG supported the Writers Guild during the latter’s strike. That support ultimately was one key to ending the 100 day labor dispute.
Cross education won’t be easy. The article pictures a commonality of interest, citing “salary reductions and added work responsibilities facing broadcasters, declining quotes and reduced work opportunities for actors or record labels’ imposition of ‘360 deals’ on recording artists” as though they were one and the same thing. However, it takes a bit of digging to identify technology as the common factor, since its manifestations are somewhat different – and, thus, so are the implications for labor.
Is technology a strong enough thread out of which to weave a community of interest? After all, technological change affects nurses, autoworkers and lawyers too, yet that doesn’t mean that these groups have enough commonality to foster solidarity between them. Do media workers? Maybe so, but it will take more fleshed out examples to make the point., and hard work to accomplish the goal
Nonetheless, SAG-AFTRA merger is a smart move for media workers. It is, at the least, a step in the direction of creating a larger community of interest and it addresses the dues, pension and health plans, and administrative costs issues. Moreover, it would make it harder for management to play SAG and AFTRA off against each other in negotiations.
The article alludes briefly to “secondary micro-issues” that helped scuttle merger the last two times it was attempted. In my view, those issues deserve a fuller airing well in advance of a merger attempt. The key issues are merger or revision of the health plans, merger of the pension plans, and the name of the new union.
Merger or revision of the health plans seems doable. After all, companies change health plans with some frequency; why can’t two unions, or a new union, change health plans and converge to the same plan? Merger of the pension plans is a more technical issue, and there probably needs to be an au current study done.
The third issue is the one that makes for a nice political football: should the new union be called SAG, AFTRA, AIMA (a proposal during the last merger attempt), or something different? MF partisans have a clear opinion: “You’ll pry my SAG card from my cold, dead hands” seems to be the thinking. Indeed, some probably intend to be buried with their cards.
Extreme or not, there is a reality here: a SAG card is aspirational, whereas an AFTRA card is not. The buff young trainers at my gym sidle up to me and in a whisper beg to learn how they can get their SAG cards. Do I have any in’s with the staff? Is there something I can do? If only the answer were yes, I’d probably have dates every Saturday into eternity. An AFTRA card, in contrast, might be enough for a free workout on a slow day.
Why the difference? Three reasons, probably:
First, as SAG partisans point out, “SAG” is a brand name with greater name recognition, or brand equity, as trademark experts like to say. With due respect to my AFTRA friends, the SAG partisans are right: clearly, more of the general public has heard of SAG than of AFTRA.
Second, “SAG” symbolizes the glamour of the movies; AFTRA symbolizes the technology of TV. Would you rather be 20 feet tall on a movie screen or 20 inches tall on a TV screen? Leave aside the reality that most people watch most movies on home video anyway, movies still have a cachet that television doesn’t.
Third, anyone can get an AFTRA card if they pay the initiation fee. In contrast, SAG is an exclusive club, albeit one with 126,000 members, two-thirds or more of whom don’t work as performers in any given year. Here again, the reality isn’t nearly as seductive as the perception, but so it goes.
So are we stuck in a world where SAG has to discard its name, which I think it will never do, or AFTRA has to accept “SAG” as the name of a merged union, which is also unlikely? No. The solution is easy, and it’s the same approach that was chosen when two rival union federations, the American Federation of Labor (AF of L) and the Congress of International Organizations (CIO) merged in 1955. The name of the merged organization? The American Federation of Labor and Congress of International Organizations – unwieldy, but no one calls it that. They call it the AFL-CIO. Short and simple.
And so would be the obvious equivalent for SAG and AFTRA: “SAG-AFTRA.” It’s short, easy to pronounce – easier than AFTRA-SAG – and it puts the union with the larger membership and more name recognition first. It’s a name that may be the best hope for a merger – or creation of a new union, call it whichever you prefer.
Will a new name require mental adjustment? Of course. No doubt the transformation of the Screen Writers Guild and Television Writers Guild into the Writers Guild of America required adjustment too. Ditto the mergers and name changes that led to the Directors Guild.
But SAG hardliners, ask yourself this: would you rather adjust to a new name, or do you prefer to deny health care to yourself and your family when you split work between the two unions and fail to meet either one’s threshold for coverage? Do you like paying two sets of dues and watching management play ping pong with two unions?
Sunset Boulevard got it wrong: the pictures – and the salaries – are getting smaller. It’s the companies that got bigger. Maybe it’s finally time for the unions to get bigger too.
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Archive for the ‘SAG’ Category
SAG moves Towards Joint Bargaining with AFTRA
The SAG National Board yesterday passed a resolution, by a surprising 82% to 18% vote, directing the guild’s president and National Executive Director to “seek engagement with AFTRA in a joint bargaining agreement for negotiation of the Television/Theatrical Contract,” as quoted in a SAG press release. This move is as I predicted in a blog post three weeks ago, based on conversations then with a confidential source.
Those negotiations, scheduled for October 1 – November 15 of this year, would take place “under the terms of Phase One, modeled on the agreement used successfully in the 2009 Commercials Contract negotiations,” per the resolution. Phase One is the 1981 agreement between the two unions under which they have jointly bargained with the studios for almost three decades, with the notable exception of 2007-2009.
The margin was unexpected, since the board is almost evenly divided between factions that support joint bargaining (Unite for Strength and an independent in Los Angeles, and most or all members of the New York and regional boards) and a group (Membership First) that has generally expressed bitter opposition to joint bargaining under Phase One, a framework that gives SAG and AFTRA equal weight on the negotiating committee. (Because of the lateness of the hour, it was not possible to explore this issue with sources, and a call to a SAG spokesperson was not immediately returned.)
The resolution also directs the President, Ken Howard, and National Executive Director, David White, to “bring a recommendation to the National Board at the earliest opportunity.” The urgency presumably stems in part from the fact that AFTRA’s next national board meeting is February 27 meeting, and more generally from the constraints created by the October 1 date and the various processes leading up to it, as I have previously discussed. The TV/theatrical contract doesn’t expire until June 30, 2011, but the agreement reached last year between the studios and SAG mandates early bargaining, specifically, from October 1 through November 15.
The SAG press release is below.
Subscribe to my blog (jhandel.com) for more about entertainment law and digital media law. Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email. Or, follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, or subscribe to my Huffington Post articles. If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets.
SAG National Board of Directors Meets via
Videoconference in Los Angeles and New York
Los Angeles, (January 31, 2010) – Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors voted today to seek engagement with AFTRA in a joint bargaining agreement for negotiation of the Television/Theatrical Contract. Approved 82 to 18 percent, the resolution states:
“It was moved and seconded that in light of SAG’s historically productive negotiating partnership with AFTRA, the SAG National Board of Directors directs President Ken Howard and National Executive Director David White to seek engagement with AFTRA in a joint bargaining agreement for negotiation of the Television/Theatrical Contract, under the terms of Phase One, modeled on the agreement used successfully in the 2009 Commercials Contract negotiations. President Howard and NED White shall bring a recommendation to the National Board at the earliest opportunity.”
Screen Actors Guild President Ken Howard said, “I am very pleased with the vote and thank the Board for their leadership and foresight on this important issue. I so appreciate the Board’s cooperative spirit in this discussion and throughout the day, and feel confident that our Guild is moving in the right direction.”
In other actions, the National Board voted unanimously to create a National Performance Capture Committee to address the unique concerns and experiences of members who render performances that are recorded using “performance capture” technology across all media, and to advise the Guild on all matters pertaining to work in this rapidly growing area.
The board also approved 83 percent to 17 percent the unanimous recommendation of the finance committee to authorize the extension of existing initiation fee reductions in targeted markets across the country and to have the Guild’s Joint Strategic Planning and Finance Committee review the initiation fee structure nationwide.
The national board received reports from elected leadership and staff including:
• President Howard memorialized those members who have passed away over the last year reading each name aloud and calling for a moment of silent remembrance. Howard also recognized the recent loss of former Houston Branch President and board member Jim Huston, who passed away January 28, 2010.
Mary McDonald-Lewis, Regional Branch Division board member from Portland, Oregon, delivered a special tribute to Huston, saying, “He stood with his brothers and sisters through the best of times and the worst of times, and did so with resolve.“
• Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino delivered a report on the Guild’s second quarter financial results noting that SAG’s revenue and expenses are closely tracking the projections for fiscal year 2010. Aquino also provided an update on investment performance indicating recoupment of certain losses in the Guild’s investment portfolio when compared to the prior year.
• National Executive Director David White reported on the strategic planning efforts underway at the Guild and preparation for negotiations. White updated the board on new institutional and member service initiatives including a revitalized organizing strategy and program. White applauded SAG committee members and staff for their innovative and thoughtful work in key areas including the 2010 SAG Awards, government relations and legislative activities, new media outreach activities, and the LifeRaft Live Streaming partnership with SAG Foundation, among other efforts.
The Board also appointed Deputy National Executive Director of Contracts Ray Rodriguez to the Screen Actors Guild-Producers Industry Advancement & Cooperative Fund (IACF) board and addressed a number of governance matters, including a constitutional amendment regarding written assent procedures; an amendment to Branch rules of procedure; advisory recommendations from the annual national membership meeting; amendments to the election guidelines; and a recommendation to study the feasibility of electronic voting.
The meeting adjourned just after 5:00 p.m. PST.
Screen Actors Guild nominations are outSubmitted by Melissa Molina on December 17, 2009 – 10:34 am
Even though the Golden Globe nominations were announced earlier this week does not mean that this is the last of the nomination announcements were going to be seeing. The 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be going underway this January 23rd, 2010, and what better way to remind you than releasing the nomination list.
From movies to television, all the way to stuntmen, SAG certainly is following suit on a lot of the similar nominations that were already made with the Golden Globes in the feature film category. Though the both do differ in ways through television, which list do you prefer more? Here it is right for you all to look at below.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
- Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart (Fox Searchlight)
- George Clooney – Up in the Air (Paramount Pictures)
- Colin Firth – A Single Man (The Weinstein Company)
- Morgan Freeman – Invictus (Warner Bros Pictures)
- Jeremy Renner – The Hurt Locker (Summit Entertainment)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
- Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side (Warner Bros Pictures)
- Helen Mirren – The Last Station (Sony Pictures Classic)
- Carey Mulligan – An Education (Sony Pictures Classic)
- Gabourey Sidibe – Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire (Lionsgate)
- Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia (Columbia Pictures)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
- Matt Damon – Invictus (Warner Bros Pictures)
- Woody Harrelson – The Messenger (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
- Christopher Plummer – The Last Station (Sony Pictures Classic)
- Stanley Tucci – The Lovely Bones (Paramount Pictures)
- Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds (The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
- Penelope Cruz – Nine (The Weinstein Company)
- Vera Farmiga – Up in the Air (Paramount Pictures)
- Anna Kendrick – Up in the Air (Paramount Pictures)
- Diane Kruger – Inglourious Basterds (The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures)
- Mo’Nique – Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire (Lionsgate)
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
- An Education (Sony Pictures Classic) – Dominic Cooper, Alfred Molina, Carey Mulligan, Rosamund Pike, Peter Sarsgaard, Emma Thompson, Olivia Williams
- The Hurt Locker (Summit Entertainment) – Chrisitian Camargo, Brian Geraghty, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner
- Inglourious Basterds (The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures) – Daniel Bruhl, August Diehl, Julie Dreyfus, Michael Fassbender, Slyvester Groth, Jacky Ido, Diane Kruger, Melanie Laurent, Denis Menochet, Mike Myers, Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Til Scweiger, Rod Taylor, Christoph Waltz, Martin Wukke
- Nine (The Weinstein Company) – Penelope Cruz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Judi Dench, Fergie, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren
- Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire (Lionsgate) – Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Sherri Shepherd, Gabourey Sidibe
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Mini-Series
- Kevin Bacon – Taking Chance (HBO)
- Cuba Gooding Jr. – Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (TNT)
- Jeremy Irons – Georgia O’Keeffe (Lifetime)
- Kevin Kline – Great Performances: Cyrano de Bergerac (PBS)
- Tom Wilkinson – A Number (HBO)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Mini-Series
- Joan Allen – Georgia O’Keeffe (Lifetime)
- Drew Barrymore – Grey Gardens (HBO)
- Ruby Dee – America (Lifetime)
- Jessica Lange – Grey Gardens (HBO)
- Sigourney Weaver – Prayers for Bobby (Lifetime)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
- Simon Baker – The Mentalist (CBS)
- Bryan Cranston – Breaking Bad (AMC)
- Michael C. Hall – Dexter (Showtime)
- Jon Hamm – Mad Men (AMC)
- Hugh Laurie – House (Fox)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
- Patricia Arquette – Medium (NBC/CBS)
- Glenn Close – Damages (FX)
- Mariska Hargitay – Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC)
- Holly Hunter – Saving Grace (TNT)
- Kyra Sedgwick – The Closer (TNT)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
- Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock (NBC)
- Steve Carrell – The Office (NBC)
- Larry David – Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
- Tony Shaloub – Monk (USA Network)
- Charlie Sheen – Two and a Half Men (CBS)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
- Christina Applegate – Samantha Who? (ABC)
- Toni Collette – United States of Tara (Showtime)
- Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
- Tina Fey – 30 Rock (NBC)
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus – The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS)
Oustanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
- The Closer (TNT) – G.W. Bailey, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz, Tony Denison, Robert Gossett, Phillip P. Keene, Corey Reynolds, Kyra Sedgwick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Tenney
- Dexter (Showtime) – Preston Bailey, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter, Courtney Ford, Michael C. Hall, Desmond Harrington, C.S. Lee, John Lithgow, Rick Peters, James Remar, Christina Robinson, Lauren Velez, David Zayas
- The Good Wife (CBS) – Christine Baranski, Josh Charles, Matt Czuchry, Julianna Margulies, Archie Panjabi, Graham Phillips, MacKenzie Vega
- Mad Men (AMC) – Alexa Alemanni, Bryan Batt, Jared S. Gilmore, Michael Gladis, Jon Hamm, Jared Harris, Christina Hendricks, January Jones, Vincent Kartheiser, Robert Morse, Elisabeth Moss, Kiernan Shipka, John Slattery, Rich Sommer, Christopher Stanley, Aaron Staton
- True Blood (HBO) – Chris Bauer, Mehcad Brooks, Anna Camp, Nelsan Ellis, Michelle Forbes, Mariana Klaveno, Ryan Kwanten, Todd Lowe, Michael McMillian, Stephen Moyer, Anna Paquin, Jim Parrack, Carrie Preston, William Sanderson, Alexander Skarsgard, Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, Deborah Ann Woll
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
- 30 Rock (NBC) – Scott Adsit, Alec Baldwin, Katrina Bowden, Kevin Brown, Grizz Chapman, Tina Fey, Judah Friedlander, Jane Krakowski, John Lutz, Jack McBrayer, Tracy Morgan, Keith Powell
- Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO) – Larry David, Susie Essman, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines
- Glee (Fox) – Diana Argon, Chris Colfer, Patrick Gallagher, Jessalyn Gilsig, Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Heather Morris, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Mark Salling, Harry Shum Jr., Josh Sussman, Dijon Talton, Iqbal Theba, Jenna Ushkowitz
- Modern Family (ABC) – Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Nolan Gould, Sarah Hyland, Ed O’Neill, Rico Rodriguez, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara, Ariel Winter
- The Office (NBC) – Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Creed Bratton, Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, Kate Flannery, Ed Helms, Mindy Kaling, Ellie Kemper, Angela Kinsey, John Krasinski, Paul Lieberstein, B.J. Novak, Oscar Nunez, Craig Robinson, Phyllis Smith, Rainn Wilson
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
- Public Enemies (Universal Pictures)
- Star Trek (Paramount Pictures)
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Paramount Pictures)
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
- 24 (Fox)
- The Closer (TNT)
- Dexter (Showtime)
- Heroes (NBC)
- The Unit (CBS)
Screen Actors Guild 46th Lifetime Achievement Award
- Betty White
The Winners of the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards
“Mad Men” (AMC) Outstanding Comedy Series
“30 Rock” (NBC) Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” (AMC) Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Glenn Glose, “Damages” (FX) Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
Kater Gordon and Matthew Weiner, “Meditations in an Emergency,” “Mad Men” (AMC) Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
Rod Holcomb, “And in the End,” “ER” (NBC) Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama
Cherry Jones, “24” (Fox) Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama
Michael Emerson, “Lost” (Fox) Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” (Comedy Central) Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics
“Hugh Jackman Opening Number,” The 81st Annual Academy Awards (ABC) Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Series
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” (Comedy Central) Outstanding Directing for Variety, Music or Comedy Series
Bruce Gowers, “American Idol” (Fox) Outstanding Miniseries
“Little Dorrit” (PBS) Outstanding Made for TV Movie
“Grey Gardens” (HBO) Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Jessica Lange, “Grey Gardens” (HBO) Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special
Dearbhla Walsh, “Little Dorrit” (PBS) Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special
Andrew Davies, “Little Dorrit” (PBS) Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Brendan Gleeson, “Into the Storm” (HBO) Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Ken Howard, “Grey Gardens” (HBO) Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Shohreh Aghdashloo as Sajida in “House of Saddam” (HBO) Outstanding Reality Competition Program
“The Amazing Race” (CBS) Outstanding Host for a Reality or a Reality Competition Program
Jeff Probst, “Survivor” (CBS) Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock” (NBC) Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
Jeffery Blitz, “Stress Relief,” “The Office” (NBC) Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Toni Collette, “United States of Tara” (Showtime) Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men (CBS) Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
Matt Hubbard, “Reunion,” “30 Rock” (NBC) Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Kristin Chenoweth, “Pushing Daisies” (ABC)
Well it looks like SAG and the AMPTP have reaches a tentative deal. From what I have been reading it is nothing more than the deal that was offered back in June. This was not the time to fight for a bigger “piece of pie” they should have been happy that they were even offered something to eat. I know that is harsh but sometimes you need to figure out that you have no chance of getting what you want. The deal will be shared with the Union tomorrow and will probably be voted on in the next few weeks. Then things should start picking-up and not to soon. I expect this to take a few months to get going, because of logistics, but that is how it works. I don’t think there were any winners here but the Producers have saved millions that they will not have to pay back, so I guess somebody one something.
For a great blog on what this deal is all about read Jonathan Handel’s take on this. His blog is at:
I think we will learn more about this come next week…