Attorney Jonathan Handel of L.A.'s Troy & Gould considers himself a bit of an expert on the Writer’s Guild strike. After all, he was once an associate counsel for the Guild.
On DVD residuals, while the Guild has already offered to withdraw its initial demand for an increase, Handel said the group would “be hard-pressed to make a deal without some improvement in this area.”
“I really tried to give as complete a snapshot as possible, because I know there’s a lot that is flying around out there,” he said. “I spent a lot of time doing it.”
It has paid off, too.
Handel has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and in Associated Press stories that got picked up worldwide. It has done wonders for his Google positioning, he said.
“If you googled my name 10 days ago, you’d find about 300 hits,” he said. “Now, if you google my name, there’s 18,000 hits from China to Prague.”
And all that name recognition is good for him and the firm when it comes to attracting potential clients. Already, he’s gotten a handful of calls from prospects who have seen his opinions about the strike in the media.
Handel told Legal Pad an interesting point he thinks has been neglected in media coverage is that DVD residuals still matter — a lot. The Internet — downloading and streaming — is the up-and-coming delivery method at the heart of the writer’s tough stance, but Handel noted that as technology has improved, the amount of data that can be squeezed onto a disc has grown tremendously.
“There’s no reason to think that will stop,” he said. “I think it’s a real mistake for the Guild to fold on that issue.”
Handel said he hopes his voice stands out on topics like that as a neutral observer in a period he refers to as “punishment time.”
“It’s very ugly,” he said. “I view myself as having some responsibility to be a voice of reason.”
— Kellie Schmitt