Well, iacta alea est, as Julius Caesar reportedly said before entering a big fight that he really didn’t want to have.
No deal was reached yesterday, so as of 12:01am today, the Writers’ Guild of America is on strike.
Here’s what we’re asking for.
It’s not much.
But as you can see here, the studios don’t want to engage us on these issues.
The showstopper is a very simple one: We would like a share of the money coming in from the use of our work delivered electronically, while the companies would prefer to keep all of that money for themselves.
What that share actually is, is negotiable.
It’s not about DVDs, it’s not about being greedy, it’s not about sticking it to The Man.
It’s about being fair.
So what does this mean to writers based in the UK?
Well, we can still sell to UK producers. Also Canadian, Australian, European, and so forth.
What you mustn’t do is help the studios out by selling your work to an American producer until this strike is over.
There are two reasons why this is a bad idea.
Firstly, if you perform work for a company during the strike, you will not be allowed to join the WGA after the strike is over. Which means no work from America, the largest market for writing in the world. You want a career, don’t break the strike.
But there’s a second, stronger reason.
Because it would be wrong.
The reason 12,000 people have put their pencils down is to ensure that in the future, when your work is used, you will get an equitable payment for the work that you have done.
Don’t let them down.