Let’s Make a Deal

The deal summary for the WGA strike can be found here.

It’s not as much as we would have liked. It’s more than the studios would have liked. It’s a deal both sides can live with.

That seems fair to me.

Some of the highlights:

The WGA is recognized as the exclusive bargaining representative for writing for new media

Fairly self-explanatory.

Separated Rights

If a writer creates a show or character for a program premiering in new media, and that character or show is then turned into a TV show, or film, or board game, or action figure, the writer gets money for this.

Internet Residuals

After the initial payment for a programme created for the Internet (which covers 13 or 26 weeks worth of showings, depending on whether the viewer pays for access), writers get money if the programme continues to be available.

Internet Re-use / Distributor’s Gross

For the next two years, casting a programme in a new medium (internet, cellphone, etc) attracts a flat rate. After that, the fee is based on a percentage of the money earned.

What did we lose on?

  • Reality and animation still aren’t covered.
  • The DVD formula (4 cents per DVD sold) stands.

A vote is occurring today and tomorrow to stop striking; within ten days the WGA membership will have voted on whether to accept the contract.

This is a good contract.

The showrunners are already back at work. Everyone else (pending the expected let’s-stop-striking vote) will be back at work on Wednesday.

It’s over.

4 responses to “Let’s Make a Deal”

  1. Nice translation there Piers – your strike coverage has been nothing short of excellent. Bravo fella. And like you say, you can’t have *everything* – though that would’ve been good.

  2. Not to throw a wet blanket on this:

    To make it clear, this only applies to companies that are signatory with the Guild. Your phrasing implies that the Guild is the only game in town when clearly that isn’t the case.

  3. True:

    For writers working for non-signatory companies, work has been ongoing. The WGA is not the only game in town. Good writers, producers, and directors have all been continuing to work during this strike.

    Also true:

    It’s the biggest game in town. And now we can all play again.

    (Well, assuming the ratification votes don’t do something really weird.)

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