Trick or treat! Last time there was news about the LucasFilm/Pixar collusion scandal it was on Star Wars Day when an anti-trust law firm announced a class action lawsuit.
I was curious if there’s been an update and coincidentally an announcement was made by Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein yesterday:
Today, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy H. Koh issued a case management order in the class action litigation charging that Adobe Systems Inc., Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corporation, Intuit Inc., Lucasfilm Ltd., and Pixar violated antitrust laws by conspiring to suppress compensation for their employees.
In the order, Judge Koh denied defendants’ motion to stay discovery in part. Importantly, Judge Koh ordered defendants to produce by November 30, 2011, certain documents relating to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation of these practices, including documents the defendants turned over to the DOJ.
Trial Dates Set
It looks like the judge in the case is allowing the plaintiff law firm to have access to the same evidence and statements in the Federal Department of Justice that LucasFilm, Pixar and other defendants were trying to block access to. There will be another hearing for access to even more privileged documents at a later date.
Another big step is an announced trial date scheduled for June 10, 2013. There will probably be alot of news between now and then. Who knows they might even settle all this soon.
Who Else Was Involved?
Regardless, now is not the time for VFX artists to be apathetic.
I find it hard to believe that this conspiracy agreement between LucasFilm, Pixar, and other big bay area high tech firms like Apple, and Adobe excluded other VFX facilities.
So if you have any information on collusion I strongly suggest you contact the law firm now. I can say that one manager I know revealed to me a similar agreement between 2 other VFX facilities.
On a related note The Animation Guild is also helping artists go after Employer Of Record companies ripping off VFX artists. Check out litany of commenters forced to pay their employers’ payroll taxes on TAG Organizer Steve Kaplan’s blog.
But of course! There is NOTHING wrong with the vfx industry right? Keep those headphones on and turn the volume up a little louder and you just might be right.
Here are my other posts on the matter: