Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 12th Jul 2014 00:44 UTC

If you think only Apple, Google, Intel, and several other technology companies flagrantly broke the law by illegally robbing their employees of wages - think again. As it turns out, the digital animation industry - centering around Steve Jobs' Pixar, unsurprisingly - was just as bad.

[Pixar's] Catmull's deposition and emails from the lawsuit confirm that he was instrumental in operating a secret wage-theft cartel that violated the Sherman Antitrust Act. But it's even worse than you think. The cartel orchestrated in large part by Catmull robbed potential wages and job opportunities from thousands of animation industry workers at other studios, including DreamWorks, Lucasfilm, Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers, the now-defunct Orphanage, and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Pando Daily has the meat on this story (here and here).

The wage fixing scandal is way, way more sprawling than anyone could have originally anticipated. The sad thing is that the criminals behind this illegal behaviour - Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, Eric Schmidt, George Lucas, Ed Catmull, and many, many more - will never have to face any serious consequences for their crimes.

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Member since:

Jail time does have an impact on criminal behavior.

The irony of course is that the jail disincentive is typically applied to the wrong people. The threat of jail DOES work against people who already have a good life and would not want to lose it. This is your middle and upper class people.

Punitive sentences work very well on this segment of society. If CEOs were sent to jail for negligence, let's say GM's autoparts scandal or the whole financial industry, do you think their behavior would change? They're already very well paid. It would not be worth it for them to risk jail time in exchange for a greater bonus or profit.

Right now, for most executives, like the lower class criminal sent to jail, it is worth it for these executives to commit crimes or gross negligence. They can make even more money and have even more power, and the penalty they face... is just a fine.

The lower class person has little to lose. It is often worth the risk of drug dealing or being in a gang.

The problem of course comes that people don't want to apply jail time to middle and upper class people as they're typically, 'productive' members of society. Such is the irony of jail as a deterrent.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Alfman Member since:


I wanted to vote you up, but could not. You make some very good points. I would add that it has to do with the extremely biased representation we see due to the concentration of power in upper class ranks. I wonder if the problem is worse in the US? I honestly don't know.

These are very interesting links about the over-criminalization in the US, if you have time to read them.

Some cases are outright ridiculous, lawyers win and justice fails.

Badly drafted laws create traps for the unwary. In 2006 Georgia Thompson, a civil servant in Wisconsin, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for depriving the public of “the intangible right of honest services”. Her crime was to award a contract (for travel services) to the best bidder. A firm called Adelman Travel scored the most points (on an official scale) for price and quality, so Ms Thompson picked it. She ignored a rule that required her to penalise Adelman for a slapdash presentation when bidding. For this act of common sense, she served four months. (An appeals court freed her.)

Reply Parent Score: 4