Equity Deals in the Future

Union agrees unique deal on behalf of members performing in new Blake’s 7 podcast serial

An agreement reached between B7 Productions and Equity to provide contractual rights for performers in a podcast is the first deal of its kind in this country and, the union believes, may be the first in the world. The deal relates to the production of an updated audio version of 70’s cult sci-fi show Blake’s 7.

The deal agreement provides for minimum session fees, rehearsals, overtime payments, holiday pay, assignment of rights and most importantly a royalty share on net revenues generated via podcast downloads, audio streaming via the Internet and subsequent CD release. The deal also includes a provision for an audit of sales to ensure compliance.

“The Blake’s 7 podcast represents an important first step in establishing the rights of members in this developing market,” Andy Prodger, Equity’s Assistant General Secretary said. “The deal reached by Equity on behalf of our members sets out a basic framework in relation to a performer’s rights to royalties and recognises the distinctive nature of this new way of delivering programming to a growing audience.”

The podcast agreement will be sent to the Personal Managers’ Association, the Association of Voice-over Agents and the Co-operative Personal Managers Association. The terms of the agreement can be used as a minimum template for future agreements on podcast productions.

“Equity is responding to the new media environment,” Andy Prodger said. “From digital television to mobile phones and iPods, technology may change but Equity’s commitment to protect our members’ interests remains as strong as ever.”

“In this evolving market we believe this to be a significant agreement that will enable independent producers to capitalise on the burgeoning opportunities whilst provide a greater transparency in commercial dealings with performers to the mutual benefit of both parties,” added Andrew Mark Sewell, B7 Production’s Executive Producer. “The agreement between Equity and B7 Productions is not intended to be prescriptive but is important for marking out the boundaries and ensuring that the commercial expectations of performers (and their agents) is realistic,” concludes Sewell.

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