David Straus, Joe Neulight and Fred Kramer, co-founders of Withoutabox, the world’s largest independent film community, have formed Los Angeles-based Critical Mass Studios (CMS), a fully integrated studio that will focus on the rights management space.
Straus, Neulight and Kramer founded Withoutabox in 2000 and sold the company to Amazon’s IMDb in 2008. CMS will use critical mass tracking technology to transform multi-platform distribution, rights management tracking and monetization for the entertainment and publishing industries.
is not a studio in the traditional sense of the word. What we are
building is a hardcore technology company that is creating an ecosystem
for the studios and entertainment
industry, one that provides a more efficient and secure way of managing
and distributing their rights throughout the content life cycle,” new CEO Straus told Indiewire.
In their first major acquisition, CMS has teamed with entrepreneur Rob Delf and purchased RightslineSoftware Inc., which has been under Delf’s control since 2007. RightsLine currently tracks more than 65,000 contracts and is widely considered to be the entertainment industry’s most powerful rights and contract management platform for major studios, television companies and publishers, including NBCUniversal, MGM, Fremantle and Samuel French.
“RightsLine software sits at the core of the Critical Mass Studios mission. We’re going to be announcing some very exciting deals this year,” said Delf, president of CMS and CEO of RightsLine. “We intend to be among the few enterprises that will emerge at the center of the value chain for rights, serving as the nexus whereby rights holders, licensors, distributors, promoters and brands will communicate and transact.”
Most recently, Straus, Neulight and Kramer operated Withoutabox for Amazon.com and oversaw the Los Angeles expansion of Amazon-owned IMDb, the world’s largest collection of movie, TV and celebrity information. Delf sold his software engineering company, Tryarc, to the Japanese conglomerate NTT Data in 2007.