The Feds won't stamp out the PGA mark
In one of the stranger intersections of Washington and Hollywood, the Justice Department has given its blessing to a proposed voluntary certification system for producers.
The department said in a statement Friday that it would not challenge a new system backed by the Producers Guild of America that would give producers a "p.g.a." mark of accreditation next to their credits if they qualified under the guild's rules.
The PGA took the unusual step of asking the Justice Department for an opinion on the proposed system. That's because studios, whose approval would be needed if the PGA negotiates to have the new "p.g.a." mark included next to the produced-by credit, wanted assurances the arrangement would not violate anti-trust rules.
The Justice Department determined that the new certification system is unlikely to reduce competition among producers or film studios. "The Producers Guild's certification program may benefit the film industry and the public by providing a way to discern who performed the full range of producer functions on a film,'' said Acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis A. Pozen.
The system is designed to separate those who actually do the work of producers on a film from financiers, lawyers and actors who often bargain for a generic producer credit on the film. The PGA has been trying in recent years to crack down on those who claim the producer credit but had little to do with actually producing the movie.
"We're extremely pleased that the U.S. Department of Justice has fully endorsed the Producers Guild's certification mark,'' PGA President Hawk Koch and Mark Gordon said in a statement. "The DOJ's critical decision clearly and definitively paves the way for swift adoption of the Producers' Mark, as there should be no further resistance from the motion picture studios to participate in the 'p.g.a.' certification program. We stand in solidarity with our nearly 5,000 Guild members, in our belief that the entire industry benefits from recognizing producers for their work."
-- Richard Verrier