The latest in the legal skirmish over the Golden Globes between the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and Dick Clark Prods. had a couple of twists Thursday, as Ted Johnson of Variety reports.
The HFPA is asking for a delay in the next phase of the trial amid the possible sale of DCP, which won a judgment from U.S. District Judge Howard Matz in April that declared it had ongoing rights to produce the Globes as long as it had a deal with NBC.
… Matz’s decision was for just the first phase of the case, but the HFPA wants to appeal immediately rather than waiting until the end of the second phase, which will involve issues such as accounting, digital rights and pre-show rights, all less central to the rights to the show itself. DCP has indicated that it opposes such a move, and that the court should proceed to the next phase.
In its filing late Thursday, the HFPA’s legal team, led by Daniel Petrocelli, argued that proceeding with the next phase of the case now would push back its ability to appeal another “one or two years, possibly up to (or even beyond) the 2016 Golden Globes.”
A sale of DCP could give the HFPA a fresh start with a new owner, but the press org’s legal team also sees it as bolstering their case: A contract that binds them to a production partner “in perpetuity” doesn’t make sense if that producer’s ownership status changed. And the HFPA hinted that it would raise questions of whether the HFPA agreement with DCP allowed such a sale, although since it has been producer of the show, DCP has been sold twice, in 2002 and 2007. …
… In a filing earlier this month, Matz seemed perturbed that the litigation has lingered on, claiming that both sides had previously acknowledged, “at least implicitly,” that once phase one was resolved it would result “in the resolution of all the issues.” “The court regrets that this does not appear to be the case,” he said. In fact, he said that he “no longer intends to attach highest priority to this case.”