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'Happy Days' Television Show Actors May Be Entitled to Unpaid DVD Royalties

June 11, 2012

In a recent Hollywood employment lawsuit development, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge has ruled that several former members of the famous television show "Happy Days" can argue their right to receive royalties from the hit series in front of a jury in July--after Paramount Pictures and CBS Studios sought to have the claims dismissed, claiming that the group was fairly paid.

Vincent Howard previously discussed this lawsuit in an Orange County employment lawyers blog, that was filed by several of the former cast members in April of last year. The lawsuit claimed that the actors were never compensated for years of DVD and home video releases, as well as licensed show merchandising and products that contained their images and voices throughout the show's run, and for years after, in television syndication.

The television stars initially sued CBS for $10 million, and accused Paramount and CBS of fraud, concealment, conversion, bad business practices and breach of contract. The fraud, concealment, and conversion accusations were thrown out by the judge in October, leaving the actors to continue on with the breach of contract claims.

The actors involved in the lawsuit include Marion Ross, Don Most, Erin Moran, Anson Williams and the widow of Tom Bosley. As Vincent Howard previously reported, according to the lawsuit, although the actors all had different salaries, they had the same contracts in regard to the television show's merchandising--which stated that if images of them were used in a group, each actor should receive a percentage of the net proceeds.

The Hollywood employment lawsuit alleges that the cast members unfairly received different deals, and Henry Winkler and Ron Howard, who are not parties to the lawsuit, have already been paid for merchandising rights.

Last week, Judge Elizabeth Allen White ruled that the actors may still be entitled to royalties on the use of their images in DVD packaging. Although the group has already reportedly received some payments for other types of merchandising, according to the group's attorney, the unpaid royalties from the sales of DVD's are worth around $320,000.

In Orange County, California, contact Vincent Howard at Howard Law, PC today for a free consultation about your Riverside labor and employment rights.

Judge rejects bid to dismiss 'Happy Days' cast claims over unpaid royalties for DVD packaging, Daily Reporter, June 5, 2012

Judge: 'Happy Days' cast may be owed DVD royalties, 77 Square, June 5, 2012

'Happy Days ' Star Donny Most Says Something's 'Not Right' About Show Merchandising Payout, ABC News, June 11, 2012

Related Web Resources:

California Department of Industrial Relations, (DIR)

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