Google will protest SOPA using popular home page

by Declan McCullagh and Greg Sandoval



Google, the Web's top search company and one of technology's most influential powers in Washington, will post a link on its home page tomorrow to notify users of Google's opposition to controversial antipiracy bills being debated in Congress.

The company confirmed in a statement that it will join Wikipedia, Reddit, and other influential tech firms in staging protests of varying kinds against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), which are backed by big entertainment and media interests. (Read a roundup of our SOPA and PIPA coverage here.)

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SAG and AFTRA craft merger plan

Hollywood's two main actors unions, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, early Monday morning took a historic step toward combining their two unions.

The Group for One Union, which is made up of leaders of SAG and AFTRA, hammered out an agreement to merge the unions after nine days of intensive talks -- held out of the public view at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel.

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Zen Arts: Supperclub

Zen Arts teams up with LA based production company the Do Lab to bring a show to the Supperclub in Los Angeles for Limelight. Zen Arts put on a very special dinner performance featuring world-class fire dancers, aerialists, pole dancers, burlesque dancers, capoeira artists, and Cyr wheel performers. After dinner Zen Arts took over the nightclub with DJs Pumpkin and the Lowriderz.

Lionsgate Buying 'Twilight' Studio Summit Entertainment

by Alex Ben Block via THR

Lionsgate announced Friday it has closed its leveraged buyout of Summit Entertainment in a deal for $412.5 million in cash and stock and the assumption of Summit’s $500 million debt.

The $912.5 million deal brings together two of Hollywood’s biggest independent studios. The privately owned studio behind the hitTwilight movie franchise will now be part of the mini-conglomerate that will release The Hunger Games movie in March and has such TV series as Mad Men and Boss.

Lionsgate funded the purchase with $55 million of its own existing cash, $45 million of cash from newly issued convertible notes, $50 million worth of Lionsgate common stock and $20 million of cash or stock to be issued by Lionsgate in the next 60 days. The remaining $252.5 million apparently comes from cash that Summit had on hand.

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