Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Optimism on the Striking Writer Front

I'm taking another sick day. This will be a short post so I can go back to bed.

Yesterday's Los Angeles Times reported "guarded optimism" in the ongoing talks between the studios and striking writers.

The [Writers] guild's board of directors, which ultimately has to approve any contract, met Monday to discuss the status of negotiations. One main area of concern is a flat residual payment of $1,200 that studios gave directors for streaming their shows in the first year.

Writers fear that such a rate could one day give networks greater incentive to rerun shows online, where residuals would be a fraction of what producers currently are required to pay.

While the agreement the Directors Guild reached with the studios is being used as a model, the article points out that writers have issues unique to their craft. "Chief among them is securing so-called separated rights to their projects, which guarantee writers additional payments and credit when their work migrates from one medium to another, such as a Web show that spawns a TV pilot."

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