Former Soap Writer Sues ABC Over Royalties

Sam Hall, a co-head writer for ‘One Life to Live’ in the mid-1980s, filed a lawsuit in New York state court alleging ABC owed him royalties. Hall claims his deal with the network included weekly payments so long as the soap opera was broadcast. However, Hall asserts that he never received payments after the series was shown on Hulu, iTunes and the OWN network. The agreement, which is included in the lawsuit exhibits, does not define broadcast as restricted to network television. 

After the series ended on ABC, the show was supposed to launch as a web series but after that deal went crumbled, a new 30 minute version of the show ran on Hulu and iTunes until last fall. Hall is claiming that he is entitled to royalties from the period after ABC. Hall estimates he is owed in excess of $50,000.

Do you think that “broadcast” should include webisodes and streaming in this case?


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