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AWG vs. SCREENRIGHTS Legal Case Update

The fight for your rights with Screenrights continues.

On 3 March 2016 the AWG and AWGACS filed a case in the Federal Court of Australia against Screenrights, which, in non-legal terms, alleges a failure by Screenrights to protect and represent Australian and international scriptwriters and their rights.

At the first directions hearing on 5 April, the Court ordered the parties attend Court-appointed mediation and gave directions for the parties to confer and agree directions for the conduct of the mediation by 27 April 2016 with mediation anticipated to be set down prior to 31 May 2016. The matter was relisted for directions on 2 May in the event the parties could not agree on a proposal for mediation.We are yet to receive a response from Screenrights setting out their response to our statement of claim, or the filing of their defence.

The case against Screenrights was again before the Court for directions on 2 May 2016. The Court ordered Screenrights to file its defence by 30 May 2016. There was a stay of the order referring the parties to mediation. Upon receipt of Screenrights’ defence, the AWG and AWGACS should be in a better position to either prepare for mediation and/or further progression of the case.

Screenrights put out a strong statement after last week's hearing stating that it totally rejects our case and intends to vigorously defend the matter in court if settlement is not reached.

The AWG and AWGACS are disappointed but unsurprised by this response; however, we are hopeful for speedier and meaningful progress toward resolution of the dispute in the future.

We will continue to fight for your rights and to keep you advised of future progress.

The AWG Board

The AWGACS Board

Shannen Usher
20 May, 2016
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