CCC Webinar “The Writing On The Wall: Lessons, Takeaways & Opportunities From The Hollywood Strikes”

“The Writing On The Wall: Lessons, Takeaways & Opportunities From The Hollywood Strikes”

Tuesday, January 9th, 2024
2:30 PM PST - 4:00 PM PST


In May and throughout the summer, WGA and SAG-AFTRA initiated strikes to assert demands for what they deemed as fair compensation for their labor. Following their actions, the American film and TV industry experienced a significant slowdown, adversely impacting sync licensing. This disruption, in turn, has had a notable ripple effect on music industry workers, recording artists, and songwriters, especially during a period where they already face substantial challenges within their own domain. The complexities of copyright regulations and limitations on unionization within the music industry have made it difficult for individuals to stay well-informed, connected, and empowered within this vast community. Given these circumstances, it becomes crucial to explore viable steps that can be taken to preserve the value of music in an era increasingly defined by digitization and automation. Music workers must strategize on effective engagement with stakeholders, gathering accurate information, advocating for their interests, and ensuring their voices are not overshadowed. Through conversations with industry experts, advocates, and legal professionals, we aim to understand the valuable insights and lessons that can be gleaned from Hollywood’s labor actions. Moreover, we intend to discuss strategies that can help music workers recover from the financial losses resulting from these disruptions and explore potential pathways that hold promise for the future of the music industry.


Kristina Guerra Benson | Founder, Sweet On Top, LLC

Josh Briggs | General Manager & Head Of Publishing, Terrorbird Media & Publishing

Panelists to date:

Jonathan Handel | Senior Counsel, Feig Finkel, LLP

Christine Meinders | Chief Executive Officer, POIETO

Advance Registration:

CCC Members $0 per person | Non-members $5 per person

– No refunds –

Stick around for the "after hour, happy hour" chat following the webinar! Catch up and network with the CCC community from the
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Attention Attorneys: This virtual activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education Credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of one (1) hour. Following this virtual webinar, we will verify your attendance via Zoom reporting and email your certificate of attendance to the email provided at registration.

Please register for this webinar by
1:30 pm PST on Tuesday, January 9, 2024


Kristina Guerra Benson | Founder, Sweet On Top, LLC

Kristina began her career with a degree in opera from University of California at Irvine and took piano lessons in her spare time under Miles Davis’s sideman Kei Akagi. After stints as a promoter and DJ, she segued into a role as a branding specialist for DoStuffMedia, where she spearheaded engagement initiatives for brands such as Goose Island, Grey Goose and Pabst Blue Ribbon, working closely with local influencers to produce interactive brand experiences. She went from there to acting as Music Director for Lip Sync, and after many successful placements and two wonderful years at Lip Sync, she decided the time had come to start her own agency. In the short time since it has opened its doors, Sweet On Top has landed placements with high-quality brands such as Apple, Michael Kors, Macy’s, Vogue and St. Regis, promotions for the Olympics and “Songland”; and in television shows including “Station 19,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “All Rise,” “Firefly Lane,” “High Fidelity,” “Ray Donovan” and “The Blacklist.” Additionally, her writers have secured cuts with Dim Mak and Warner Records’ artists. Kristina also worked closely with the Guild of Music Supervisors’ education committee and is a member of the California Copyright Conference and the Association of Independent Music Publishers.

Josh Briggs | General Manager & Head Of Publishing, Terrorbird Media & Publishing

Josh Briggs is the General Manager and Head of Publishing for Terrorbird Media & Terrorbird Publishing in Los Angeles, California. Spending six years as Director of Pop/Rock Membership at ASCAP, more than a decade at the helm of Terrorbird Publishing, and as an independent musician himself, Josh has spent his career as a steward of independent music. He believes that doing it yourself doesn’t mean doing it alone, and that inclusiveness, education, and understanding are keys to a thriving musical ecosystem. He’s worked with artists like Le Tigre, Big Freedia, Solange, Jawbreaker, Isaac “Redd” Holt, Lord Huron, Vundabar, and more, and published a Guide to Sync Licensing for The Creative Independent.

Jonathan Handel | Senior Counsel, Feig Finkel, LLP

Jonathan Handel is a transactional enter­tainment and technology lawyer with a related specialty in Hollywood unions and guilds, and is also a journalist, media commentator and occasional screenwriter and poet. He represents screenwriters, directors, actors, producers, production companies and others in transactions and in guild relations. Jonathan also represents software developers and counterparties, and companies and executives negotiating employment agreements.

A preeminent expert on Hollywood unions and guilds, Jonathan regularly handles residuals matters and other guild issues, including credit arbitrations and appeals. The author of four books and numerous articles on the entertainment unions, Jonathan was associate counsel at the WGA and outside special counsel to SAG-AFTRA. An authority on residuals, Jonathan created a color-coded chart summarizing most residuals that has become an industry standard, and then expanded the chart into the only published book on residuals.

Jonathan is also a Contributing Writer for Puck news and was a contributing editor at The Hollywood Reporter from 2010 to 2020, where he wrote about 1,400 articles. His writing has also been published in/on the Los Angeles Times, Variety, Billboard, Backstage and elsewhere. He has appeared almost 1,400 times as a commentator on entertainment law and business in most major television, radio, print and online outlets across the world.

Jonathan moderates and appears on panels, presents seminars and has taught a 400-student film appreciation/screening class for UCLA Extension. He has been an adjunct professor at UCLA, USC and Southwestern law schools teaching courses on the entertainment industry and on Hollywood unions and guilds, and is a non-resident research fellow at Rutgers University. He is also a co-founder and former officer of an entertainment tech startup. Named by the Daily Journal as one of the top 100 lawyers in California, Jonathan has been profiled in a book, articles, websites and podcasts. He is a member of the Television Academy and an associate member of the Dramatists Guild and the Society of Composers & Lyricists.

Jonathan is licensed in California and is a graduate of Harvard College (1982/83 AB magna cum laude in applied math and computer science) and Harvard Law School (1990 JD cum laude). Prior to law school, he worked in tech and was a Democratic party elected official and gay activist who initiated, drafted and successfully lobbied for the Cambridge, Mass. human rights (civil rights) ordinance. Afterwards, Jonathan was a federal appellate law clerk, litigator and federal Associate Independent Counsel (special prosecutor) before switching to transactional practice.

Christine Meinders | Chief Executive Officer, POIETO

I am social technologist and innovation strategist who uses collaborative and inclusive design approaches to creating AI design tools and developing social AI projects. My research has focused on the design of intelligent experiences for civic/healthcare sectors, inclusive design in AI, and co-designing social experiences.

My MFA thesis project “Feminist.AI” led to a postgraduate fellowship where I continued my work on my AI Design Tool, which then led to the founding of an AI innovation consultancy. I have also presented my research at conferences and guest lectures.

I hold an MFA in Media Design Practices from ArtCenter College of Design and an MA in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University.

Specialties: AI Innovation Consulting, AI Design, AI Research, Emotions Analytics, Sensory AI, Socio-cultural probes, Clinical Psychology Research, Prototyping, Research (qualitative, quantitative, proprietary).

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