November 17, 2007
The writers' strike, and residuals
Wondering about the whole US screenwriters’ strike? Yeah, me either, really, so here’s John August’s lengthy but (natch) well-written account of the situation.
I’ve a lot of sympathy for them, to be honest. The concept is sound, even though I don’t get residuals for any of the stuff I’ve done (I’m not a drama writer, so what I’ve done has been on a buy-out basis; Producers don’t get residuals here either, mind. Directors sometimes do, but not Producers).
Forget DVD sales, too — the alarming issue is that writers aren’t getting paid for internet sales. At first glance this appears entirely indefensible, especially in the light of the $1bn Viacom suit against YouTube. If online copyright infringement is worth that much in damages, surely the material being online must be worth something in the first place. So… why don’t the writers get a cut of that, in the same way they do in other media? Run that by me again?
Or… just watch this ‘Not The Daily Show’ clip from some of the writers of… uh… The Daily Show.