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The W - Movies & TV - Writers on Strike (Page 4)
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PeterStork
Sujuk








Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

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#61 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.09
    Originally posted by wmatistic
    Striking to me is the bratty kid taking the only ball and going home cause he doesn't like the rules he agreed to.


But...they didn't agree to them, so no. Their contract expired, and the reason they had a dated contract in the first place is because conditions change over time - like the popularity of the internet and the ability to buy season sets of DVDs, neither of which was on the table back in 1987. So now it's time for a new contract that does cover these things.

    Originally posted by wmatistic
    Wait, so it's ok for the separate organizations(unions), to band together to force higher salaries but it's not ok, in fact illegal, for companies to get together to keep them down? This seems pretty unfair to me.


The AMPTP is not illegal, and no one's saying it is. But it's the various producers getting together and saying "if you work for any of us, these are the terms." So the unions get to do it too. Simple.



exit 670 dot com | digital route 66
wmatistic
Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
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#62 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
    Originally posted by PeterStork
    The AMPTP is not illegal, and no one's saying it is. But it's the various producers getting together and saying "if you work for any of us, these are the terms." So the unions get to do it too. Simple.


Gotcha. Two wrongs make a right, so support the writers.
PeterStork
Sujuk








Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

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#63 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.09
    Originally posted by wmatistic
      Originally posted by PeterStork
      The AMPTP is not illegal, and no one's saying it is. But it's the various producers getting together and saying "if you work for any of us, these are the terms." So the unions get to do it too. Simple.


    Gotcha. Two wrongs make a right, so support the writers.


No, actually, neither one is wrong in how they organize to negotiate. It makes it easier for both parties, in fact. Just one is wrong in their terms. So no gotcha.



exit 670 dot com | digital route 66
wmatistic
Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
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#64 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
    Originally posted by PeterStork
      Originally posted by wmatistic
        Originally posted by PeterStork
        The AMPTP is not illegal, and no one's saying it is. But it's the various producers getting together and saying "if you work for any of us, these are the terms." So the unions get to do it too. Simple.


      Gotcha. Two wrongs make a right, so support the writers.


    No, actually, neither one is wrong in how they organize to negotiate. It makes it easier for both parties, in fact. Just one is wrong in their terms. So no gotcha.


It's a difference of opinion. I don't think either is doing it right. You do. We'll leave it at that.
PeterStork
Sujuk








Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

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Last activity: 20 hours
#65 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.09
    Originally posted by wmatistic
      Originally posted by PeterStork
        Originally posted by wmatistic
          Originally posted by PeterStork
          The AMPTP is not illegal, and no one's saying it is. But it's the various producers getting together and saying "if you work for any of us, these are the terms." So the unions get to do it too. Simple.


        Gotcha. Two wrongs make a right, so support the writers.


      No, actually, neither one is wrong in how they organize to negotiate. It makes it easier for both parties, in fact. Just one is wrong in their terms. So no gotcha.


    It's a difference of opinion. I don't think either is doing it right. You do. We'll leave it at that.


Agreed. Cardinals fans should be lovin', not fightin'.



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Mr. Boffo
Scrapple








Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

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#66 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
    Originally posted by PeterStork
    They get a pathetic pittance of DVD/VHS, and they get literally 0% of internet, even when they have to work extra to produce the content (like online extras.)

Just to clarify, I believe, and I could be wrong, that the writers *do* get paid when someone pays for the show (through iTunes or whatever) but they don't get paid when someone watches the show for free on the network's website (even though the network is generating ad revenue from the people watching).
StingArmy
Andouille








Since: 3.5.03
From: Georgia bred, you can tell by my Hawk jersey

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#67 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.69
    Originally posted by Mr. Boffo
      Originally posted by PeterStork
      They get a pathetic pittance of DVD/VHS, and they get literally 0% of internet, even when they have to work extra to produce the content (like online extras.)

    Just to clarify, I believe, and I could be wrong, that the writers *do* get paid when someone pays for the show (through iTunes or whatever) but they don't get paid when someone watches the show for free on the network's website (even though the network is generating ad revenue from the people watching).

Correct. More importantly, though, we're on the verge (i.e., in another decade or less) of ALL free television content coming to us streamed over the internet. You know what that means? The writers will get zilch in royalties. The sneaky/smart/jackass (depending on who you ask) lawyers for the studios cleverly worded the writers' contracts so that online content is not considered regular television. Instead, it's considered merely PROMOTIONAL material. So, when you watch an entire episode of LOST online because you missed it on ABC the night before, you are not watching an episode of lost, according to the contracts. Once everything is coming over the internet, there will be no more television "episodes," just promotions. And thus, writers will be getting squadoosh.

This is not a case of them making salary and then not getting paid "extra" for other work they are asked to do. Royalties are not "extra" to a television writer. They are a writer's bread and butter.

Also, to address an earlier comment:
    Originally posted by wmatistic
    Wait, so it's ok for the separate organizations(unions), to band together to force higher salaries but it's not ok, in fact illegal, for companies to get together to keep them down? This seems pretty unfair to me.

It may seem unfair to you but that's the law. There are antitrust laws out there that prevent companies from forming organizations or cartels to hinder competition, including competition for the labor market. There are also exceptions to these antitrust laws that allow unions to exist so that workers can band together. Without this there's no way an individual worker would have the leverage necessary to get any sort of fair compensation in an industry like this. This is why labor strikes are legal.

- StingArmy
Cerebus
Knackwurst








Since: 17.11.02

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#68 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.48
    Originally posted by Mr. Boffo
    ...they don't get paid when someone watches the show for free on the network's website (even though the network is generating ad revenue from the people watching).


Yeah, see, that's something That sounds like a huge problem to me. These people are asking for money from advertising revenue off the internet which just sounds like crazy talk to me.

If, by some insane actions, they get this, there's gonna be a whole new can of worms opening up with advertising copywriters having a good shot at asking for more money when an ad campaign they come up with does really well. This is dumb because that's 'work for hire' and not 'intellectual property', but if the SAG gets this money, there's going to be some legal precedent out there allowing even more people to go on asking for and probably getting money they don't deserve.

The bad thing is that the contract that they had the expired was really fucked up. They had agreed to a measely two anda half cent per video sold, at a time when the video business was just starting out and look at how it exploded. The Home Video market became huge and studios made billions off it. The writers are now wanting to jack up their cut (from 2.5 to 7 percent I think it is...) which when you look at it, really isn't all that much and sounds rather fair, but when you add in the craziness of the advertising revenue... it screws the deal up and neither side seems to want to budge on it.

Personally, I say the studios should automatically cut a million from the talent/actors pay and put it into a fund to cover the writers and other low paid workers because assholes like Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie gets paid entirely too much for what they do.

(Yeah, I DID have to get a dig in at Tom Curise, what's your point?)



Forget it Josh... it's Cerebustown.
wmatistic
Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

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#69 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
    Originally posted by StingArmy
    Correct. More importantly, though, we're on the verge (i.e., in another decade or less) of ALL free television content coming to us streamed over the internet. You know what that means? The writers will get zilch in royalties. The sneaky/smart/jackass (depending on who you ask) lawyers for the studios cleverly worded the writers' contracts so that online content is not considered regular television. Instead, it's considered merely PROMOTIONAL material. So, when you watch an entire episode of LOST online because you missed it on ABC the night before, you are not watching an episode of lost, according to the contracts. Once everything is coming over the internet, there will be no more television "episodes," just promotions. And thus, writers will be getting squadoosh.


This just isn't true. Even if all TV content is put online, it happens after it's been aired on live TV. So they'll still get their money in the same way they are now from the initial airing, repeats and the like. And the more people start to watch online, the more of a sure thing it is they won't be available for free in the future. Which means everything will change, likely including contracts for royalties. it's too fluid a situation to act like this strike is needed now.

As to the need for unions:

One I was talking more about separate unions being able to collude with each other against companies which seems exactly like what they claim to fight against.

Two, as was said an individual worker can hire a lawyer and take it to court. They aren't without options.

(edited by wmatistic on 1.12.07 2143)
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
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Since: 9.12.01
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#70 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
    Originally posted by Zeruel
    Because he made promises to his staff that he "would take care of them," according to Yahoo.


According to this he's going to pay them out of his own pocket.




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StingArmy
Andouille








Since: 3.5.03
From: Georgia bred, you can tell by my Hawk jersey

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#71 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.69
    Originally posted by wmatistic
      Originally posted by StingArmy
      Correct. More importantly, though, we're on the verge (i.e., in another decade or less) of ALL free television content coming to us streamed over the internet. You know what that means? The writers will get zilch in royalties. The sneaky/smart/jackass (depending on who you ask) lawyers for the studios cleverly worded the writers' contracts so that online content is not considered regular television. Instead, it's considered merely PROMOTIONAL material. So, when you watch an entire episode of LOST online because you missed it on ABC the night before, you are not watching an episode of lost, according to the contracts. Once everything is coming over the internet, there will be no more television "episodes," just promotions. And thus, writers will be getting squadoosh.


    This just isn't true. Even if all TV content is put online, it happens after it's been aired on live TV. So they'll still get their money in the same way they are now from the initial airing, repeats and the like.

No, I think you misunderstood what I was saying. It's not that all TV content will be put online after we see it on TV, it's that it will exist SOLELY online.

Right now, you and I get our television over cable or satellite or the broadcast airwaves. That's the way it has always been. In the not-too-distant future, though, our television sets will no longer be connected this way. Instead of TV antennas or coax cable, they will be connected directly to the internet via a broadband connection. Maybe they'll be connected to the video output of a small computer which sits in our living room with a dedicated broadband connection. Either way, our television content will be coming strictly from the internet. This is the writers' greatest fear right now, because when that day comes, they won't be making money from television.

- StingArmy
wmatistic
Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

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#72 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
    Originally posted by StingArmy
      Originally posted by wmatistic
        Originally posted by StingArmy
        Correct. More importantly, though, we're on the verge (i.e., in another decade or less) of ALL free television content coming to us streamed over the internet. You know what that means? The writers will get zilch in royalties. The sneaky/smart/jackass (depending on who you ask) lawyers for the studios cleverly worded the writers' contracts so that online content is not considered regular television. Instead, it's considered merely PROMOTIONAL material. So, when you watch an entire episode of LOST online because you missed it on ABC the night before, you are not watching an episode of lost, according to the contracts. Once everything is coming over the internet, there will be no more television "episodes," just promotions. And thus, writers will be getting squadoosh.


      This just isn't true. Even if all TV content is put online, it happens after it's been aired on live TV. So they'll still get their money in the same way they are now from the initial airing, repeats and the like.

    No, I think you misunderstood what I was saying. It's not that all TV content will be put online after we see it on TV, it's that it will exist SOLELY online.

    Right now, you and I get our television over cable or satellite or the broadcast airwaves. That's the way it has always been. In the not-too-distant future, though, our television sets will no longer be connected this way. Instead of TV antennas or coax cable, they will be connected directly to the internet via a broadband connection. Maybe they'll be connected to the video output of a small computer which sits in our living room with a dedicated broadband connection. Either way, our television content will be coming strictly from the internet. This is the writers' greatest fear right now, because when that day comes, they won't be making money from television.

    - StingArmy


Um, it's already that way sorta. The cable companies have been replacing coax with fiber. The cable boxes we have are built with an OS and hard drive.

But yes I'm sure they won't be paid a dime when that happens. Nothing for salary. Just writing for free.
StingArmy
Andouille








Since: 3.5.03
From: Georgia bred, you can tell by my Hawk jersey

Since last post: 124 days
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#73 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.69
    Originally posted by wmatistic
    Um, it's already that way sorta. The cable companies have been replacing coax with fiber. The cable boxes we have are built with an OS and hard drive.

Sigh. Look, you're arguing something that neither the studios nor the writers are arguing. Everyone agrees that new media is basically a loophole that allows the studios to not pay the writers a percentage of revenue. Everyone also agrees that once home entertainment is fully integrated with home broadband, this loophole will carry over to all television viewing. TO ALL TELEVISION VIEWING. So please, even if you disagree with the strike, accept this fact.
    Originally posted by wmatistic
    But yes I'm sure they won't be paid a dime when that happens. Nothing for salary. Just writing for free.

This argument is asinine. This is like telling a waiter to fuck off if he's complaining about his restaurant not letting him keep his tips. If you want to say this, then pay every writer a flat salary that doesn't contemplate a percentage of revenue as part of his compensation. Good luck getting EITHER side to agree to that. But as long as the typical television writer's compensation is in the part-salary, part-revenue form, you cannot bitch at them for wanting their fair share of revenue generated by their work.

You are essentially arguing, "These writers aren't being paid NOTHING for their work, so they're whiny babies for striking." What if NBA teams started paying all their players a maximum of $100k a year? That's a lot of money, right? So according to your logic the players have no right to complain, even if the NBA execs are making millions and millions and millions of dollars off the players' talents. That's what the studios are trying to do. They're making millions from new media, soon they'll make all their money from new media, and they don't want the writers to get a share of that money. The only "greedy bitches" here, as you so eloquently put it, are the studios who hypocritcally state that new media is unimportant while they simultaneously sue YouTube, sell commercial space in episodes streamed from their websites, and fight for the right to sell episodes for more money on iTunes.

- StingArmy
wmatistic
Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

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#74 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
    Originally posted by StingArmy
    Everyone agrees that new media is basically a loophole that allows the studios to not pay the writers a percentage of revenue. Everyone also agrees that once home entertainment is fully integrated with home broadband, this loophole will carry over to all television viewing. TO ALL TELEVISION VIEWING. So please, even if you disagree with the strike, accept this fact.


No. My cable box is your vision. It's a broadband device that delivers my tv via the Internet and it's likely yours is too. It gets hooked up, accepts an IP address from the cable company and we go from there. You're telling me when that happens writers won't get paid anymore. I'm telling you it already happened and WHOA they still get paid. If they were deadset on using this technicality to get out of paying writers they could and would have already done it.

Not to mention even if cable becomes more integrated, though I'm not sure how that's possible as it's fully now, you still have satellite which can't do back and forth communication at high speed so NO tv won't be changing much.

The facts don't support your speculation at all.

The second point was saying that if you honestly believe that if all shows went to online only, no tv, and that the companies would refuse to pay a dime extra when that happened, well you're just a negative nancy in my view. No I don't buy they would use that "loophole" to avoid paying any royalties. I'm pretty positive they'd work out a new deal when that happened. But it's neat to cry gloom and doom about something that hasn't taken place.

The writers want more money. that's all there is to this. It isn't a "saving our way of life" or "protecting our work". It's "we want more dough". But they're great writers so they're doing a good job of selling the public on how mistreated they are.

(edited by wmatistic on 2.12.07 0909)
The Vile1
Lap cheong








Since: 4.9.02
From: California

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#75 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.99
Here's something that I hope will put it in perspective for some people.

-Many writers survive off of their residuals. When they aren't getting any work or not hired to work on any shows for sometimes a year or more, one of the few sources income they get is from residuals. The Big Bang Theory pilot was originally shot in Spring 2006 for a Fall 2006 season hopefully. Instead it was held off for a year when it got picked up. One of the co-creators of this show had to wait a whole entire year before going back to work on it. The only money he had was getting residuals on reruns for an older show he worked on.

-Residuals come from buying shows for reruns on syndication and on TV. TV is now MOVING away from the old rerun format into a rerun on demand format. Writers would get residuals from the old format, but they do NOT get anything from reruns on demand which is what the industry is moving toward.

-The whole cause of this is nothing more than corporate greed on the part of the studios. What the writers are asking for is not unreasonable. The same things that are being said about online and on demand were said years ago about video. This is simply the evolution of that, and if they let it go this time, it would be "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."




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Andouille








Since: 9.1.02
From: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

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#76 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.34
    Originally posted by wmatistic
    As to the need for unions:

    as was said an individual worker can hire a lawyer and take it to court. They aren't without options.


Am I to assume that you believe that if a writer were to actually get a lawyer (and we're assuming that he could even come close to being able to afford to take them to court and pay his attorney's fees without winning the lottery) and sue the production company he worked for for more money, that you think he would ever, ever, ever, be hired to work anywhere as a writer again?


Tribal Prophet
Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#77 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.09
Vile1 makes a good point in his post about writers living off of their residuals. There's a real misconception about how much money the average TV writer makes. The show runners/creators or people who have created a number of shows (people like Joss Whedon, the LOST guys, Aaron Sorkin, Marc Cherry, David E. Kelley, etc.) have made a fortune off of their work, but for the average joe writer on the staff of one of those programs, they make a good but not great salary. Not to mention that unless you latch onto one of the handful of shows each year that stays on the air, you're likely to find yourself out of work in a hurry if your show gets canceled after five episodes. Even if you sell a movie script, hey great, that's maybe $100,000 in your pocket. But you're not going to be selling movie scripts constantly --- if you look at IMDB, even Oscar-winning scribes only average about one script every two or three years. That 100K might have to stretch over a long period of time, which is tough if you have a family.
StingArmy
Andouille








Since: 3.5.03
From: Georgia bred, you can tell by my Hawk jersey

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#78 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.69
http://www.nypost.com/seven/12042007/tv/the_late_hift_349535.htm


    According to industry experts, that gesture is costing David Letterman at least $200,000 a week to meet the payroll for about 100 staffers of his production company, Worldwide Pants.

    Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien yesterday started paying the salaries of around 165 other non-union staffers who've been laid off by NBC due to the writers' strike, now in its fifth week.

    "Tonight Show" host Leno - who took a lot of heat last week for not jumping in as quickly as Letterman and O'Brien with the offer to make up staff salaries - is also on the hook for about $200,000 a week, according to experts.

    O'Brien, whose "Late Night" staff is smaller (about 75 people compared to Leno's 80-90 staffers), is personally picking up a $150,000 weekly tab, according to reliable estimates.

Kevintripod
Andouille








Since: 11.5.03
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#79 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.90
Each staffer is getting about $2000 a week......pretty damn generous.

Call me Scrooge, but no matter how loaded I was, I would have given them a $1000 a week and not a penny more.

Now bring on those three ghosts.



"F*cking Chuck Norris."
It's False
Scrapple








Since: 20.6.02
From: I am the Tag Team Champions!

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#80 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.84
With or without their writers, Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien are coming back with all-new shows in January.


    Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien plan a Jan. 2 return with fresh episodes, ending two months of reruns brought on by the writers' strike, the network said Monday. But until the strike is settled, the hosts will be on their own.

    By forging ahead without joke writers, can late night TV keep from stepping on toes and still be funny?

    "I will make clear, on the program, my support for the writers and I'll do the best version of `Late Night' I can under the circumstances," O'Brien said in a written statement. "Of course, my show will not be as good. In fact, in moments it may very well be terrible."


We know Conan can bring the funny, but I'm actually wondering if going ahead without his writers can only BENEFIT Leno. I'll give Leno a shot on the first night and it'll be nice to have Conan back on my permanent view list.




"Wocka Wocka...who wants to hear a funny-ass joke?"
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