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Arguments Begin In Golden Globes Broadcast Dispute

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Attorneys for the organizers of the Golden Globe Awards and its longtime producers each sought to convince a judge Tuesday that they own the rights to determine who broadcasts the show for much of the decade.

The producers, Dick Clark productions, claim the Hollywood Foreign Press Association granted them rights "in perpetuity" to work on the show in 1993. U.S. District Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank is being asked to decide whether the producers have rights to produce the show for as long as it airs on NBC.

The association, which organizes the annual awards gala, disputes that interpretation of a 1993 agreement. It argues the company last year improperly granted NBC an extension to air the show until 2018.

Attorneys for the production company, also known as dcp, argued that the HFPA case should be dismissed because it waited too long to contest the provisions of the 1993 agreement. The association said it didn't become aware of the production company's purported right to produce and distribute the show until after the last agreement with NBC was inked in 2001.

The judge offered no indication during a morning session on how she would rule in the dispute. She asked them on Monday to address whether the agreement as interpreted by the production company would constitute "an absurdity."

Brad Phillips, an attorney for dcp, said Tuesday that it did not.

The HFPA argued that it is, because the Globes are the basis for why the organization exists.

If the perpetuity provision is allowed to stand, HFPA attorney Daniel Petrocelli argued, it would mean "they own forever the sole asset of this association, and the association has no say in it."

If the judge does not rule for either side, a jury trial to decide the broadcast rights ownership will begin on Aug. 30.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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