My friend Nina speaks out on the WGA Strike
The WGA Writer strike has been ongoing for more than two weeks now. At the heart of it, the WGA Writer Strike is a signaling that writers and the producers knows that the future of film and televisions shows is not in cable television, but with in the “New Media”: we are moving away from broadcast/cable and DVDs to the long tail of content delivery via IPTV, Internet Downloads, download-to-mobiles shows and other forms of “Straight to Internet” and “On-demand” distribution methods.
As the channel by which we watch television and film diversify way from movie theaters and cable tv, writers should be rightly compensated with their work no matter what delivery mechanism is used. Currently, this is not the case.
Currently, writers are not seeing a dime from iTunes, Amazon OneBox or on-demand streaming on NBC.com. And what are writers seeing from DVD sales? 4 cents. Between 2-5 writers a show That’s what? 1 penny per DVD sold? This is not a case about greed. Just like most music bands never hit it big time, most writers are not driving around in brand new BMWs. But I am sure many producers are.
Adam at Gizmodo says it best here:
“Imagine if the recording industry decided that the internet was merely a way to promote CDs and that no songs sold online counted when paying musicians. Their argument would be that people were just checking out those songs and might go buy the CD later, at which point the artist would get paid. This is essentially the argument the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) is making.”
Despite the producers saying that the digital medium is both unproven and unknown, both the writers and producers knows where the future is headed. This is why the producers are slow to bargain with the writers and why the writers literally cannot afford to lose.